The mass fashion for productivity has made to-do lists very popular. But they are not always useful.
Why to-do lists don’t make our lives better. There are a number of reasons. They do not guarantee the completion of tasks
More often than not, a to-do list is made to do something hard or not too interesting. For example, to study or run. But scheduling a thing is not the same as getting it done. After all, a list won’t help you love higher mathematics, and so sitting over your textbooks will be tedious every time. You can snap at any time.
They don’t make us more efficient.
It takes time to make a list. Especially if there are many tasks and they need to be scattered into different priorities or groups. “For example, I need to edit my essay during the day, so this is the item I need to accomplish first.” You’ll likely have to look at the list throughout the day to remember what to do next, or to mark what you’ve done. And that, too, takes time.
As a result, keeping a to-do list distracts from the tasks themselves. Productivity doesn’t increase, but decreases, and uncompleted tasks pile up like a snowball.
They get in the way of relaxation.
When one composes a to-do list, one is immediately confronted with a huge number of future tasks. The very realization that there are a lot of cases, pressures. And if there are unforeseen delays or postponements, the person gets even more nervous. He will constantly be thinking about what he has done and what he has not done, thinking about what he will do next. And then he will not be able to relax even during rest or other pleasant activities.
They can lead to health problems.
A person may experience feelings of guilt if they don’t accomplish one of their planned tasks. Such emotions lower self-esteem and lead to burnout and stress, and impaired sleep. Such a complex can cause serious health problems.
What is the advantage of a to-do list
With it, there will be much less difficulty. And there are more benefits.
Frees up time and improves your emotional state
You can keep a to-do list the way you want it, and it requires a minimum of time. You can mark the completed tasks during the day, at the end of the day, or at the end of the week. That is, you just fill out a list of closed tasks and see real progress. It’s inspiring, satisfying, and empowering.
Helps you focus on results rather than an abstract goal
A to-do list can help you cope with a false sense of “duty” and form a real desire to do something. Because it is always nice to replenish the piggy bank of accomplished tasks. They are likely to be fewer than planned, but only the things that are really important to you will be on the list.
By doing what makes you feel good, you get rid of the internal conflict between the desire to get things done and the urge to spend time and energy on interesting goals. In addition, a to-do list will show you what distracts you during the day and why you don’t do or don’t get things done.
Each entry on the list reminds you that you didn’t waste your day. According to some experts, knowing that you’ve had a few small victories during the day or week encourages further progress. It’s no coincidence that a number of companies, such as Google, FourSquare and Buzzfeed, make lists of what employees have done available to all colleagues. This is used to motivate employees.
How to keep a to-do list
Try the following:
Get a blank worksheet. In it, you will enter your accomplishments. It is better to keep the list exactly on paper for greater clarity.
Allocate a convenient time to fill in the table. You can do it at the end of the day or week, the process is unlikely to take more than 10 minutes.
For each major task, note smaller accomplishments.
Be sure to put things on the list that you didn’t plan to do, but did. For example, finalize a presentation before showing it to a client.
Periodically review your list. Summarize the results. For example, for a month or a year. You will get a real pleasure from this.
If you can’t keep track of everything you’ve done in detail, make a list of major accomplishments. Include the really meaningful things. For example, a long-awaited trip you took.
If you can’t refuse a list of planned tasks, try combining it with a list of completed tasks. For example, you can check the boxes next to what you’ve done on paper and disable deletion or archiving of closed tasks in scheduler apps.