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The To-Do list is almost a sacred technique of organizing your day and eventually your life. They lessen the day’s anxiety, provide a structure to power-through and are written proof of our productivity.
As the Zeigarnik Effect proves, we obsess over unfinished tasks and remember stuff which is incomplete or pending. The To-Do list comes to the rescue and saves us from a lot of stress.
Studies show that our mind performs better when we use written to-do lists. Here are some ways to make them more effective:
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The common struggles to conquer our to-do lists:
Most of us put way too much stuff on our lists. And that puts us on the path to failure.
Overstuffing our lists causes a continuous thrum of worry in our heads. And the worry that results from having too many conflicting goals causes our productivity as well as our physical and mental health to suffer.
We're just not good at constructing our to-do lists. It's not as simple as it looks.
Many of us aren't any good at formulating the tasks on the list, failing to think through steps and plans, so that when we're faced with too many tasks and too few suggestions on how to proceed, we don't complete tasks. Remember that the to-do list string around your finger is for you to make better plans using the list.
Time-blocking consists of assigning individual tasks to manageable time slots.
Instead of writing out short tasks alongside hours-long tasks on your list for the day and hoping you ha...
To set reasonable goals make a list for high-energy days and another for when you are reluctant to work. Both lists should follow an “if/then” model.
The first lists should have the more involved tasks, while the second list should feature more mindless tasks like cleaning out your inbox, organizing your desk, or even napping.
When we have unfinished tasks, we think about them continuously. But the moment they are completed, we forget about them. If we have unread email, we constantly wonder what it says. But once it...
Once our brain receives information, it temporarily stores sensory memory (sight, hearing, smells, taste, and touch). If we pay attention to the information, it moves to our short-term memories.
If the task is incomplete, our brains can't let it go until it's done. That is why TV dramas use cliffhangers to end episodes.