The Problem with To-Do Lists - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

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.

166 SAVES


EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Planning Fallacy

We all have busy schedules, but we are incorrectly planning our day around the time we have, not around priorities.

Our estimates on how long certain tasks will take are almost always not realistic.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
The 4 Kinds of Priorities

The Decision Matrix on how to approach tasks has 4 quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: The Urgent Problems which are important.
  • Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but important tasks
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not really important
  • Quadrant  4: Distractions and time-wasting tasks. 

Prioritize the important (Quadrant 2) to attain maximum benefit from your work.

Lists to Organize Yourself Perfectly
  • Vision List - consists of everything you want to experience in life.
  • 100 Days List - all the task waiting for you in the next 100 day.
  • Personal Sprint Backlog or Bi-Weekly Sprint - tasks categorized by to-do, in progress, and done.
  • Daily 3T List - the three most important tasks of the day.
  • Not-to-do List - tasks you simply don’t do, no matter what. 
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.

Disrupted Routines
Disrupted Routines

Our focus and attention span is our most important asset, and the constant disruptions keep derailing us from our activities, with our brains shifting and wandering all the time.

This is further compounded with the uncertainties of today, where finding peace and focusing our mind is fast becoming a luxury.

Our Minds Nee Reflection

Just jumping from one task to another in your to-do list or calendar does not help the mind absorb anything or learn.

The mind needs reflection time to digest information, filter out the mind-noise and convert meaning into learning. It pays to sit back and reflect, even if you feel irritated, vulnerable or bored.

Embrace Change

From online learning for school kids to contactless delivery of Amazon products, the ongoing pandemic has already shown us many social, economical and cultural changes.

Embracing change and the new ways of doing things that were not feasible or acceptable earlier is the way forward, and makes us ready even in times of uncertainty.