Here are a few weak points in regards to to-do lists:
- A to-do list doesn’t account for time. When we have a long list of tasks, we tend to tackle those that can be completed quickly in a few minutes, leaving the longer items left undone. Research from the company iDoneThis indicates that 41% of all to-do list items are never completed!
- It doesn’t distinguish between urgent and important. Once again, our impulse is to fight the urgent and ignore the important. (Are you overdue for your next medical appointment?)
- To-do lists contribute to stress. In what’s known in psychology as the Zeigarnik effect, unfinished tasks contribute to intrusive, uncontrolled thoughts. It’s no wonder we feel so overwhelmed in the day, but fight insomnia at night.
Instead, we should focus on scheduling our priorities, such as reviewing your Spanish common words, practicing the drums, or writing 500 words for your upcoming book.
What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. So when creating a to-do list – create your schedule to complete it as well. But this also stands for your goals. Schedule time for your goals, to progress and remain consistent and you will.
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey