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How to Overcome the Tyranny of Your To Do List

| | Personal Leadership
How to Overcome the Tyranny of Your To Do List

Do you sometimes feel like your to do list is managing you rather than the other way around?

To be honest, there are times when my to do list makes me miserable. My to do list can become like a tyrant, constantly chastising me for all I am failing to get done.

To do lists can easily transform from a useful tool to stay focused and productive to becoming an ever present reminder of all that you are not getting done.  Even though you know not everything on that list is a “must do,” it is easy to get lost in the abundance of the “should do’s” that so easily pile up over time.

Has your to do list become a tyrant, stomping the passion out of you daily in the name of productivity? If so, read on.

I went in search of some new thinking on the subject of productivity. I discovered Kevin Kruse wrote a fantastic book on the subject of time management, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. One of Kevin’s recommendations is that we actually stop using “To Do Lists.”

I am in the process of implementing many of his recommendations, and while I am not quite ready to abandon my to do list all together, there is one simple, but powerful tip that has already helped me immeasurably.

He suggests that “items you can’t tick off your to do list should be the ones you delegate.” If you are someone who likes to do things yourself, this one is a game changer — as I can personally attest to! His book is great and I highly recommend it.

Another resource I’ll share is an article I wrote a while back: Are You Micro-Managing Yourself? It offers a strategic approach to clearing the clutter on your to do list and getting focused on what matters most so you end up with a short “Must Do” list in place of your unwieldy and oppressive “To Do” list.

Whatever method you may use to manage your time and productivity, remember this:

Here’s to replacing the tyranny of too much to do with the immense satisfaction of doing the things that matter most.

What strategies do you use to conquer the tyranny of your to do list?

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Mino F Akhtar   |   27 December 2016   |   Reply

great article…so needed too