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To-Do Lists Will Just Make You Less Productive, Here’s Why

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To-Do Lists Will Just Make You Less Productive, Here’s Why

Oh yes, we all have at least one to-do list. We can even have several ones (bad idea, very bad idea). It is something expected to write down our tasks. Not only that, but we are taught to do it. It is all about order.

Too many things-to-do

It seems like writing things will magically make them happen right? Well, it does not work at all. If you want some metric let me tell you that only 41% of items on to-do lists are ever actually done. That is rather bad, don’t you think?

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Not only that, but if you also investigate a little more you’ll find some awesome facts regarding to-do lists. One of those truths will confuse you. It happens that a lot of tasks done on a given to-do list are tasks that are not included! I mean, you wrote 5 points, you did 10 but never finished the list! So, what’s the problem? It seems that we get puzzled by this schedule and tend to add more points to our, now endless to-do list.

We get stressed

Our mind just gets stressed with so many things to do and can not get focused in order to take them down one by one. This overwhelming list causes us to get less productive. Besides, we get mental and physically tired. This is a good time to procrastinate right? So we do it.

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Yes, we do procrastinate. It is a monster crushing our productivity. It is our own monster. We create him, we feed him, we keep him alive. But we hate him. Indeed, we can not get rid of him. Somehow we need him. Yes, we need someone to blame. We are not guilty, he is the one to blame. This way we can keep going with our endless to-do list and our “little” procrastination creature.

How to Improve Your Planning by Being Task-Focused

There is a simple way to overcome this situation. You have to be task-oriented, and change how you think about getting things done. You have to stop creating to-do lists and make task lists or objective lists instead.

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Let me explain it: When you change how you think that you must finish a task, you’ll train yourself to get a new and healthy habit. A to-do list means nothing, just a way to write what you should remember; but a task list or objective list forces you to start a task and finish it. Nice, right? There is another hidden benefit with a task list. Let’s look at an example and you’ll see it. Suppose I have this to-do list:

  1. Get a domain name
  2. Hire a hosting company
  3. Configure an email account
  4. Create a site with that domain and hosting
  5. Tweet it
  6. Publish it on FB
  7. Publish it on G+
  8. Publish it on other SM

Now let’s translate it into a task list:

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  1. Get my new site up and running
  2. Promote it

So what happened? It looks like I forgot a lot of the to-do’s, right? Actually, I just convert them to tasks. It is pretty obvious that in order to get my site running I must have a domain name, hosting, email account, etc, etc, so what is the point of writing them all down? I summarized them in one task so I must start it and finish it. The same with regards to promoting the new site. Now I have two tasks that I can perform instead of eight to-do-something that I’ll probably never finish.

As you can see, it is all a matter of re-educating our routines and getting into the best habits, plus thinking of tasks as start-and-finish instead of things to do.

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Start today and enjoy instant benefits.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Carlos Alberto Romay

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

How to Use Travel Time Effectively

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How to Use Travel Time Effectively

Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.

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1. Take Your Time Getting There

As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.

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2. Go Gadget-Free

This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

3. Reflect and Prepare

Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.

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After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.

Conclusion

Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.

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If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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