We usually have more tasks on our to-do list than we ever can complete. This causes us to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of doing the easiest and most urgent tasks first and putting off the harder ones that are most important.
Instead of working off of one long list, keep three lists.
Start with list #2. Schedule the tasks you need to get done today. Then take list #1 and schedule those tasks for future dates. By doing this, you're likely to complete meaningful work and throw away work that doesn't need to be done.
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Instead of relying on Post-its or productivity apps, the idea is that you use your digital calendar to organize your time. Estimate how long every task will take to get done and block that period off in advance.
The method is good for people who like structure and planning ahead and are not afraid of a crowded calendar.
First, you enter every task you can think off, and sort them into groups. Then you prioritise the most immediate projects and schedule tasks that you can do at a later date.
This method is good for techies: people who love using phones and have many tasks to organise or work on a variety of projects.
When we have more than seven things to choose from, our brains get overwhelmed. The core concept of the "do one thing" method is to keep your to-do list, but use it only as a reference. When you want to tackle a task, write it down on a Post-It and stick it up while hiding your full list. Once the task is done, cross it off your list, and go again.
This method is good for daydreamers, multitaskers, or easily distracted people. Seeing only one task helps to bring your focus back each time your thoughts wander.
Remind yourself of items that don’t bring you joy, and contribute very little to your long-term goals.
This way, you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time doing time-sucking, non-rewarding work, freeing you up to do the work that does make you happy in the long run.
To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.
But there's also a risk: to-do lists can backfire if they become yet another report card we perfectionists use to evaluate ourselves too harshly.