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The to-do list method for people with crazy lives and short attention spans

The Problem with To-Do Lists

To-do lists call our attention to tasks that are easy to quantify and complete. These tasks can feel more pressing and important than they really are and make us prioritize them while neglecting the non-urgent projects that would offer greater rewards.

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The to-do list method for people with crazy lives and short attention spans

The to-do list method for people with crazy lives and short attention spans

https://qz.com/work/1369733/the-hunter-method-productivity-hack-can-bring-clarity-to-your-day/

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Key Ideas

The Problem with To-Do Lists

To-do lists call our attention to tasks that are easy to quantify and complete. These tasks can feel more pressing and important than they really are and make us prioritize them while neglecting the non-urgent projects that would offer greater rewards.

The Hunter Method

This method is inspired by early human survival tactics. "If the hunter made a successful hunt for that day, his family would eat. If not, they wouldn’t. It was that simple."
  • Choose one task that is going to be the focus of your day, even if it does not fill your whole day.
  • Write it on a Post-it note and stick it to your laptop.
  • Look at this note when your mind begins to wander.

What 'must-do' to choose

You'll find it is usually the thing you least want to do. It is not a meaningless errand or tedious office task. It's a significant item that will make you feel more fulfilled.

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The Not-to-do List

A list of tasks you simply don't do: You delete them, delegate them, outsource them or simply say no when they try to find their way on your to-do list:

  • Things you want to say no
  • Distractions from being productive
  • Regular tasks you can delete, delegate, or outsource
  • Other people's responsibility
  • Small projects that get way on bigger projects
  • Emotionally draining tasks
  • Bad habits
  • Stuff that doesn't need to be done
  • Things that are out of control
  • Everything else that you can systematically eliminate and bring a bigger margin into your life.
Not-to-do List and Templates

When people ask you personally or via email something that you are struggling to decline, use templates. Templates are standard response you use to everyone. With the use of these, you refuse them politely without offending them. Also,  it saves you time and there's less emotional pressure compared to writing a decline every time.

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Living the 80/20 Life

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, states that we need to focus on the few things that get us the most benefit.

For a lot of events, approximately 80% of the effects c...

The Most Important Tasks (MITs)

Choose three Most Important Tasks for each day, and focus completely on gettting them done within a specific time.

If you add more than three, and you might not get them all done. By limiting yourself to a small number of things, you force yourself to focus only on the essential.

Success List

Instead of following a to-do list, make a shorter one called "success list". Why make one?

  • It aims you in a specific direction
  • It is an organized directive.

If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go.

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Creating A Don’t-Do List

Start by looking at your congested to-do list. There's no doubt that there are items in that list that you can get rid of. By doing that, ask yourself these questions:

  1. If we do...
Letting Go of Hundreds of Good Ideas

It's a challenge to surrender numerous good ideas that can be innovated and improved. This is where the don't-do list come to play. In order to develop, test, pilot and revise an idea, loads of propositions must be dropped.

The challenge is to be tough enough to do the pruning so that the survivors have a chance of being implemented properly and reaching their full potential,

Closing Your Options

"Only the masters of renunciation leave an imprint, only those who can say a hundred Nos for the sake of an overwhelming Yes."

 - David Brooks.

Your energy disappears and nothing really happens.

It is a reminder for you to close those options. And starts focusing on something that will affect and move you towards success. Otherwise, you spread yourself thin. You dissipate your energies and never put full force behind any cause.