5 deadly sins of to do lists.

by slingingshot15 19 replies
Hi. I will like to share 5 deadly sins when it comes to your to do list and I will like to credit Craig Jarrow for teaching me these things.

1. Having too many lists - Many people have more than 1 list for different roles in their lives and this can be quite confusing. It is best to have 1 list that you use each day to make things much more simpler.

2. Not simple enough - Some people have complex lists that are too confusing and not simple enough. Just write out what you need to be doing and keep it as your list.

3. Too many tasks on the list - I try to keep my task on my list to about 6. Some people have too many tasks that it can be overwhelming and can cause you to feel down when each day you fail to finish all the tasks for that day.

4. Not visible - Your to do list should be visible at all times when you need to see it. This is the advantage of paper lists than electronic ones. Make sure you can see it whether you are home, in the grocery or even driving.

5. Not using it - This is obvious but if you have all those things mentioned above and you don't ever use the list then you are just wasting time writing things down. Remember there is a difference between activity and productivity.
#mind warriors #deadly #lists #sins
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  • Profile picture of the author webwriter
    My dad used to be a great one for keeping lists. He'd have to-do lists written all over the place, especially in various notebooks. I think that he used them as up-to-the-moment quick reminders. Once he wrote a to-do list, he tended to forget about it.

    For a while, I thought that he had a good idea with such lists, which I copied and modified a bit. Instead of 20 or more items, I'd jot down maybe five or six "doable" things for the following day. They were practical items that I dealt with and crossed each one off as it was completed.

    But pretty soon, making a to-do list got to be a bore. Instead of making lists, I'd set up mini-deadlines and mark them on a large calendar in my kitchen. I also jotted down one or two things that had to be done fairly soon. Doing this helped me more than writing to-do lists. After all, making up those lists only provided one more excuse for putting off stuff. And yes, I am a procrastinator.
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    • Profile picture of the author slingingshot15
      Originally Posted by webwriter View Post

      My dad used to be a great one for keeping lists. He'd have to-do lists written all over the place, especially in various notebooks. I think that he used them as up-to-the-moment quick reminders. Once he wrote a to-do list, he tended to forget about it.

      For a while, I thought that he had a good idea with such lists, which I copied and modified a bit. Instead of 20 or more items, I'd jot down maybe five or six "doable" things for the following day. They were practical items that I dealt with and crossed each one off as it was completed.

      But pretty soon, making a to-do list got to be a bore. Instead of making lists, I'd set up mini-deadlines and mark them on a large calendar in my kitchen. I also jotted down one or two things that had to be done fairly soon. Doing this helped me more than writing to-do lists. After all, making up those lists only provided one more excuse for putting off stuff. And yes, I am a procrastinator.
      once it works for you that is the main thing
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  • Profile picture of the author Megan Elizabeth
    Hahah! I couldn't agree with you more! Making a to-do list is tedious, I've found that it's easier for me to complete 4 or 5 semi-big tasks and I feel accomplished for the day! And if I write it down, you can just forget about it getting done, there's just something about a list that's a major downer!

    Megan Elizabeth
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  • Great tips slingingshot15, I even tweeted this post
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Personally my biggest struggle is creating too many task and not referring to them at all.
    Thanks for the tips
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    • Profile picture of the author slingingshot15
      Originally Posted by humbledmarket View Post

      Personally my biggest struggle is creating too many task and not referring to them at all.
      Thanks for the tips
      thanks for the compliments guys. glad you liked the post
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      I help young adults who are struggling physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially and relationally to take steps today to see results in a matter of weeks without having to go through the pain of buying thousands of books, courses and counseling sessions.

      http://www.brianramdhan.com

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  • Profile picture of the author slk
    Wow! Excellent ideas on to do lists. In the south we call them "Honey do lists"--Honey do this and Honey do that. I threw the lists away, lol.
    I keep my lists simple. Do what is important now. Prioritize my list and do it in order.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    To Do lists are "busy work."
    What's the #1 thing? Do it.
    What's the #2 thing: Try to get to it.
    What's the #3 thing: Do it before you get on Facebook.
    Do those three things each day, and each day will be 100% more productive.
    (Man, I should write an eBook!)
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    • Profile picture of the author USGTMauthor
      Originally Posted by sparkie2260 View Post

      To Do lists are "busy work."
      What's the #1 thing? Do it.
      What's the #2 thing: Try to get to it.
      What's the #3 thing: Do it before you get on Facebook.
      Do those three things each day, and each day will be 100% more productive.
      (Man, I should write an eBook!)
      Gotta disagree, lists provide focus and free up bandwidth so you don't need to use memory for time management instead of production.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Thai
    If we do have many tasks on the list, we need to learn to do ONE THING at a time. This might sound obvious but finishing a task and crossing it off before moving to another takes discipline.
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  • Profile picture of the author Optimus Lime
    Also having vague goals is bad too. "Get in shape" or "get rich" are bad goals that you can't measure or know when you've accomplished it.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Vizier
    Thanks for sharing this post Slingingshot15!

    I am guilty of your first 3 points:

    1. Having too many lists

    2. Not simple enough

    3. Too many tasks on the list

    Well knowing is the first step. The next step would be to get off my ass and to start doing something about it.
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    Han of Harmony: Inspired Living in Harmony with Change.
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    • Profile picture of the author uncleN
      I think a lot of people need to hear this advice. Right now my to-do list for each day is one or two items. I try and knock these things out, do them well. Then when I am done, I will work on other things. But as soon as I have big to-do list, its too much to focus on. If I am done with my list by noon, odds are I will find something productive to-do, I don't need long lists this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author KaizenCoach
    I love lists as a way to clear my head. I'm not a slave to my lists and I am well aware that only a small portion will be accomplishes right away. Items rotate upward as they rise in priority as others are completed. I do wish I had a more efficient system for tracking my evolving lists.

    Karen
    KAIZENWellness.com
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    • Profile picture of the author duker2010
      Originally Posted by KaizenCoach View Post

      I love lists as a way to clear my head. I'm not a slave to my lists and I am well aware that only a small portion will be accomplishes right away. Items rotate upward as they rise in priority as others are completed. I do wish I had a more efficient system for tracking my evolving lists.

      Karen
      KAIZENWellness.com
      I think this is the main reason I find lists useful - to clear my head.

      I use paper to write my to-do lists - a SMALL piece of paper for the day. That way I limit it to 3 or 5 items, and I feel really good if I get 2 of them done.

      Having said that, sometimes I use mind-mapping software to just get my head completely cleared out. I like FreeMind.

      Thanks for posting this
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  • I find the best way is to prioritize my to do lists into A, B and C categories. I then semi prioritize those A, B, C tasks in my mind into which one is the most important down to the least.

    I start the day with my biggest or most important A task and work from there.

    This way you always feel you have achieved something with the day as you have done your most important tasks...

    Hope this helps you all, great post so far though, thanks all!

    Simon
    simon-dodd.com
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  • Profile picture of the author KC-Coop
    I'm guilty of having too much on my todo list. I'm constantly coming up with new ideas - and I need to follow my own advice and just focus!

    I've noticed an increase in productivity as I get more and more specific with my todo list.

    Instead of "reach out to affiliates" - "reach out to x number of affiliates".

    As a business owner it's impossible to get everything done (there is always more work that could be done). So figure out what's most important and do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
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    Originally Posted by slingingshot15 View Post


    3. Too many tasks on the list - I try to keep my task on my list to about 6. Some people have too many tasks that it can be overwhelming and can cause you to feel down when each day you fail to finish all the tasks for that day.
    I agree with you but the truth is that I have too many tasks on my list daily but I don't kill myself if I fail to finish them. Why? Because I know I have just 24 hours to either do all of them or do some of them.

    I mark the done tasks as done and move on. If I don't finish the tasks for the day, I carry them over to the next day.

    At least, having one task undone will give me a reason to live to see another day.
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