Why the To-Do List Is Not Helping

The to-do list is a sequence of stuff to do without necessarily having a clue on how to do it.

to-do list

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The to-do list of daily agenda (the actual printed agenda), or 29 post-its or 38 A4 sheets will not be able to pull at your sleeve to start your daily chores or tell you how much time to allot for each.

If you synchronize this list with your calendar, having a clear time frame for each, you will more likely finish what you have planned for the day.

You can allocate a different length of time to every action or even different colors to highlight their importance through visual management.

Why having a clear calendar schedule will turn out better than any lists:

  • Generally speaking everything you do is tied up within a time frame: from the holly DEADline to the time you need to pick up your suit from the dry-cleaners; from the question ‘for how long can you lend me the money’ to the answer ‘for as long as you give them back’;
  • The list that cannot shout that is the time for the next chore is just a pile of activities;
  • Lists can’t tell the difference between important and urgent. You can use a red highlighter or write everything in block letters, it’s not the same;
  • Establish what are the three most important daily activities and allocate the necessary time in your calendar;
  • Use the calendar for every activity needed: from the time spent reading emails (which to be honest will take most of the time) up to going to the gym;
  • When you end your day with a ‘clean’ calendar you’ll feel a lot better than having a lot of postponed assignments to think of when you get home.

My grandma had a habit of making a knot to her hanky in order to remember to tell me something very important. The problem was that by the time we met, she already forgot the reason for tying the knot, but she was pretty sure it was important. If on your to-do list is buying air-conditioning and if you remember to do it when the heat wave hits, … well, let’s say a calendar reminder set for February would’ve been more helpful. If on your list is rocking the baby, you have to do it, with or without the baby.

Last but not least, you need to allot the time frame needed proportional to what you wish to accomplish. If for example, you give 90% of your time to get a result that accounts for 5% of what was needed – you are funked.

Good luck succeeding!

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