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01 Sep

A to-do-list in hand is better than five a week

Date: 2010-09-01 09:48 Comments: 0 st

Are you in the habit of writing a new to-do-list every morning? Do you have to transfer tasks from yesterday’s list to today’s list, because you didn’t have time for what you had in mind? ??

Do you then feel uplifted and eager to get started with today’s tasks, or does it feel like you start your day with a heavy backpack filled with delayed tasks???

Instead of writing a new list every morning, let the list include everything you can think of that needs to be done and let it live over time. ??Why? Well, this is how I see it:

The predictably unpredictable

If you write a new to-do list every morning, it means that you are trying to predict what you will have time to do during the day.?? One thing we know for sure: unexpected things will happen during the day. These unforeseen things often mean that we need to spend time and energy to solve them, do them or get them out of the way. ??The things we’ve put down on today’s list easily falls out of priority and the unexpected things are given precedence. The consequence will be that you don’t have time to do everything you thought you would have time for and you may have to transfer the remaining tasks to the next day’s list.

In those situations it is closer at hand to feel defeated rather than looking at what really happened - that you managed to prioritize properly amongst your to-do-tasks; those on the list and those which showed up unexpectedly.?? It’s easy to theorize about what we will have time to do during the week, but it’s not as easy to know in advance which tasks actually will be the most important tasks to make time for. We don’t have the big picture of what will happen throughout the week and therefore can’t be sure that it will be these ten things in particular that we’ve written on the list that will be the ten most important to actually do.

Create an in-total-list

So, do not create a new list every morning with what you are supposed to do during the day, but instead now take twenty minutes when you on an empty sheet of paper or in the place where you have your to-do-tasks, write down everything that you currently have to do. Make sure you write down absolutely everything, from now and as far into the future as you possibly can imagine.?

?It will become a database of everything you’ve got to do and you no longer, like before, need to ponder on and worry whether you really remember everything from yesterday when you are writing today’s list (perhaps you don’t have yesterday’s list available at the moment). You don’t have to spend time and energy writing something again that you wrote down yesterday already. ??It will be a very long list. If you feel stressed when you look at everything you’ve written, remember that you had all these things to do before you wrote the list anyway, it’s just that you see them clearly now and you have now made it possible to work with them in a systematic, dynamic and flexible way.??You are now able to take command of everything you’ve got to do.

Prioritize gradually

Amongst all the tasks, choose the one that is just the right one to do right now, meaning, the one that has the highest priority.?? When you’ve finished it, select the second best task to do, and then the next and so on and so forth.??When something new shows up, do it right away or add it to the list while waiting to be prioritized.?? You no longer need to keep things on your mind, remember or worry about something falling into oblivion. If you keep it updated, the things you have to do will now be safely stored on the list.

How do you do it?

How do you keep track of everything you’ve got to do?

Feel free to leave a comment below.

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