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This Is The List You Can Try If You Find “To-Do-List” Not Useful To You!

This Is The List You Can Try If You Find “To-Do-List” Not Useful To You!

We all have the tendency to stock up work. We desire to achieve various targets, and it is easy for us to accumulate a list of work until it gets too overwhelming.

We Keep doing a To-Do-List..But it doesn’t really help.

Time seems to be never enough for you although every single person practically got the same amount of hours per day. A lot of us may keep a To-Do List for staying on track of what we are doing, but deep down we all know it is just a bunch of wishing thinking and half of the list will be never be finished and forgotten simply due to the fact that its seems physically impossible to complete it.

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Author William J. Reilly suggested in his book How to avoid work the 3 most common excuses we use when we fail to do something:

  1. ‘I haven’t the time.’
  2. ‘I haven’t the money.’
  3. ‘My folks don’t want me to.’

But is it true? Is it an unavoidable cause, or did we subconsciously put ourselves into this situation?Author Jim Collins suggested his way out of this dilemma: don’t focus on the things that you need to do, focus on those that you can stop doing.

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We need a reminder on things we should avoid doing too.

Write a “stop doing” list rather than a To-Do List.Steve Jobs once said the success of Apple is largely due to the projects they choose to not do. Instead of trying to achieve everything in your scope, we should pick those that worth our effort.

By considering the things we don’t need to do, we can greatly reduce the number of workload and maximise our benefits and output. This is where the “stop doing” list comes into play.

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So now you are starting to build your “stop doing” list, but then how can we distinguish the things that we should do and those we should stop doing? Collins suggested us to use the Hedgehog Concept.

Ask yourself 3 questions:

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1. What are you deeply passionate about?

Passion is a really important factor to consider as it is the key to empowering yourself in achieving a particular goal. Working on jobs that you are not passionate in is like driving a car without fuel— you won’t get far with it, and you won’t get much out of it.

2. What are you genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just “made to do”?

We are all good at doing something. Your strength could be something that I lack of. We are also trained to function in different aspects of our society. So choose something that suits you in terms of your ability. Pick tasks you are comfortable with. You could have saved those time you used struggling to complete a task you are not familiar with.

3. What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

Sometimes you just have to be a realist. In reality we cannot achieve much of what we want without the sufficient economic power. Dreams will only be dreams when you got no cash. So pick the things that can builds your financial base.

So here comes the answers of what to put into your stop-doing list.

If you encounter something that makes you reply “No”,”No” and “No” for these 3 questions. You probably can put it into your “stop doing” list.So the next time when you start thinking of your new year resolution don’t simply jot down things that you can do. Start now with your “stop doing” list! Think of the things that made you feel miserable, things that you did because of obligations, and things that you thought could make your life better but never really did.Write them down, have a look at the list, and stop.

More by this author

Raphael Ha

Writer. Still waiting his chance to travel the world.

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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