Why You Should Stop Using To-Do Lists – And Do This Instead

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s being productive. Over the years I’ve made lists, checked things off, and even touted the virtues of To-Do lists in this post.

But lately, I’m experimenting with another way to track projects which I think works better. I’ll get to this new thing in a minute, but first…

The Drawbacks of To-Do Lists

To-Do lists are great for getting things out of your head so you can stop worrying that you’ll forget to do something important, but To-Do lists have shortcomings:

  1. To-Do lists don’t prioritize your most important tasks
  2. To-Do lists don’t account for how much time a task will take
  3. To-Do lists may set you up for failure because they inevitably become too long, i.e. unfinishable

These shortcomings can sabotage your efficiency, productivity, and maybe even your sanity!

Instead: Live By Your Calendar

Start by taking tasks off your To-Do list and adding them to your calendar. Be sure to allow enough time to complete each task. The good (and bad) news is your calendar will keep you honest about how much time things take.

Chances are good that you won’t be able to squeeze all your To-Do list items onto your calendar. That’s ok. Isn’t it better to know up front that you really can’t do all of those tasks in a week? Then you can decide strategically what is a priority and what absolutely cannot fit in. The process gives you choices and control up front.

You can read more about putting your work in the calendar here.

What are your tips for managing your tasks? Do you prefer a To-Do list or living by your calendar? Please share your thoughts, tips and advice in the Comments box below!

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