Revenge Of The To Do List
photo credit thenoodleator
We’ve seen it. Most of us have had fierce encounters with it. And still — it lives! OK, this may seem a bit dramatic, but I’ve come across a lot of bad To Lists in my career. And even when it’s done well, The List can still haunt. So what can be done?
A common problem with To Do lists are To Do’s that live on past their to do dates, i.e., items on your list that didn’t get done on the assigned day. Once you turn the page or click forward to the following day, you run the risk of forgetting the item (out of sight, out of mind), or else you find yourself transferring items day after day, which can get tiresome. The important thing here is to be asking yourself: Why wasn’ I able to complete this? Am I avoiding it? Not allowing enough time? Being too perfectionistic? By asking the right questions, you will get the information you need to re-schedule it properly. Or you may find that you want to delegate it, or not do it at all.
Another way to handle To Do transfers is to work with a Master List. If you organize your list according to importance and time pressure, you can simply pull items off on a daily basis. If the item was not completed that day, it remains on the Master List where it won’t be overlooked or forgotten. (This concept also works very well for things you need to buy.)
To Do Lists are supposed to work *for* you. By trying to manage a reasonable number day-to-day and tracking the rest on a master list you can stay in control and feel more productive.