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How to Optimize Your Daily To-Do List

How to Optimize Your Daily To-Do List


    For some people daily to-do list is like a gospel. For others, it’s wishful thinking. No matter where you happen to fall into, there is one simple way you can optimise your to-do list, and make sure stuff that needs to get done, gets done.

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    Every item must relate to annual/life goals.

    Your long-term goals are the key. Most of us want something big. Whether it’s the ultimate job, your own business, a family, speaking a foreign language, or travelling the world. Whatever it is, we want it badly, because we can’t have it straight away. It’s those dreams that you should be moving towards through daily action.

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    Follow these steps to make sure you stay on track:

    Write Down Your Big Goals

    If you haven’t done that already, do it now. Writing down goals in clear manner, makes them more actionable. When you create your daily to-do list, look at your big goals, and ask yourself how do your daily goals relate to these.

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    Review Periodically

    You should be reviewing your big goals at least every six months. Ideally every quarter. Ask yourself, are you taking steps towards these goals every day? Do you still want the same thing? Has your life situation changed to make things easier or harder?

    Don’t Hesitate to Change Goals

    There is nothing wrong with changing goals. Just because you wanted something six months ago, doesn’t mean you have to want it now. Think about what’s changed. Are you simply quitting because the going’s tough, or do you genuinely want something different now? If it’s the latter, refocus, review your situation, and make a new goal.

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    Don’t Waste Time on Things That Are Irrelevant

    Whenever you find yourself dragged into immediate issues or new interest, think about how that’s serving your long term goals. Of course there will be times when you have to do things you don’t want to do, but they shouldn’t be on your daily to-do list. This list is a plan for accomplishing your big goals, so focus only on those.

    Don’t Include Everyday Requirements

    Buying milk, walking the dog, brushing your teeth, dentist’s appointments etc. shouldn’t be on the list. Those things are given. You have to do them. They are not goals. They are requirements of everyday life.

    Just keep reminding yourself that your goals are the dreams you are trying to realise. These are the things you really want. Your to-do list should reflect broken down segments of those goals, and nothing else.

    (Photo credit: My Goals List via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 25, 2021

    6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity

    6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity

    Perfectionism sounds like a first world problem, but it stifles creative minds. Having a great idea but doubting your ability to execute it can leave you afraid to just complete and publish it. Some of the most successful inventors failed, but they kept going in pursuit of perfection. On the other end of the spectrum, perfectionism can hinder people when they spend too much time seeking recognition, gathering awards and wasting time patting themselves on the back. Whatever your art, go make good art and don’t spend time worrying that your idea isn’t perfect enough and certainly don’t waste time coming up with a new idea because you’re still congratulating yourself for the last one.

    1. Remember, perfection is subjective.

    If you’re worried about achieving perfectionism with any single project so much that you find yourself afraid to just finish it, then you aren’t being productive. Take a hard look at your work, edit and revise, then send it our into the world. If the reviews aren’t the greatest, learn from the feedback so you can improve next time.

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    2. Procrastination masquerades itself as perfectionism.

    People who procrastinate aren’t always lazy or trying to get out of doing something. Many who procrastinate do so because perfectionism is killing their productivity, telling them that if they wait a better idea will come to them.

    3. Recognize actions that waste time.

    Artists and all creative people need time to incubate; those ideas will only grow when properly watered, but if you’re not engaging in an activity that will help foster creativity, you might just be wasting time. Remember to do everything with purpose, even relaxing.

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    4. Don’t discriminate against your worth.

    No one is actually perfect. We often have tremendous ideas or write things that move people emotionally, but no one attains that final state of being perfect. So, don’t get down if your second idea isn’t as good as your first—or vice versa. Perfectionists tend to be the toughest critics of their work, so don’t criticize yourself. You are not your work no matter how good or how bad.

    5. Stress races your heart and freezes your innovation.

    Stress is a cyclic killer that perfectionists know well because that same system that engages and causes your palms to sweat over a great idea is the same system that kicks in and worries you that you’re not good enough. Perfectionism means striving for that ultimate level, and stress can propel you forward excitedly or leave you shaking in fear of the next step.

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    6. Meeting deadlines beats waiting for perfect work.

    Don’t let your fear of failure prevent you from meeting your deadline. Perfection is subjective and if you’re wasting time or procrastinating, you should just finish the job and learn from any mistakes. Being productive means completing work. You shouldn’t try for months or even years to perfect one project when you can produce projects that improve over time.

    Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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