I love this @Taylor Evans Ghosal
I am a to do list junkee. You know you are into to-do lists, or at least that you are a Type A personality, when you go back at the end of the day or even a day later and add things to the to-do list that you did, but didn't originally include.
I like to-do lists (I guess we are hyphenating them) for all the reasons you mention. They make me feel accomplished when I can look back and see what I got done. This is particularly true at work, where a good chunk of my day might have been consumed by meetings or conversations or helping people in random ways I did not start out to do. If I've checked a few things off the list, or added some of those spontaneously arising tasks to the list, it really helps me fight the feeling that I wasted the day
I agree @Quinn Drew
that it seems strange to have big life goals on a daily to-do list. Being as how I am not big into big life goals anyway, I would almost never do this. Goal: retire. that could be on my list every day for the next five years (at least) Hah!
As to paper or digital. I have gone mostly digital with my to-do list, using the My Tasks function on Outlook . the nice thing is, I can see them on my smartphone, and there is no paper clutter. But I do confess I miss some of the aesthetics of having a paper list. And once things are checked off, they tend to disappear.
Speaking of Big Life Goals, does anyone else remember the Franklin Covey planner materials? Big Rocks, Little Rocks, and A B C 1 2 3 etc.? I loved picking out a new theme every year--Leadership, Sports, -- all those pages were so pretty. Monthly calendar pages, daily or weekly work records with separate boxes for appointments and schedules, a daily action list, a place to record phone calls, and a place to note expenses. I guess much of that is now rendered unnecessary by our portable devices.
I always struggled with the big picture planning sections that came with it anyway. There'd be a front section explaining how to create your values and mission, Then make goals that support Value/Mission/Role. All this was supposed to ultimately feed into Big Rocks and Little Rocks. I could handle daily task lists. But forget about all the rocks. And don't even mention Sharpen the Saw!!
I tried a smartphone app equivalent some years ago, but it just wasn't the same as the binders (of which I have three languishing and collecting dust -- compact, personal, and huge 11x14 page size.) I sometimes take one or the other out and look at them nostalgically. But digital has killed the print world, I fear.
Sent: 02-01-2023 12:15
From: Taylor Evans Ghosal
Subject: Hacking Your To-Do List
Is anyone else a fan of to-do lists?
Personally, I use them for everything to keep me organized at work and at home. They make me feel organized because I have my thoughts on paper. They also make me feel accomplished when I cross something off and I can see all the progress I've made since I started my list.
To-do lists are pretty straightforward, but a recent article from NPR gives tips on how to hack your to-do list to make it more effective and work better for you. Tips include:
1. Follow the two-minute rule.
2. Automate what you can.
3. Break each task into smaller chunks.
4. Decide what's a priority.
5. Figure out whether you want to write your to-do list on paper or digitally.
6. Try assigning a task to a time of day.
7. Include big life goals on your to-do list.
My favorite tip is to consider writing your to-do list on paper or keeping it digital. I think there are pros and cons to both, but ultimately I prefer keeping my list on paper.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any tips for maintaining your to-do list?