Why You Should Stop Writing To-Do Lists (and do THIS instead)
Let me guess…
There’s another crumbled-up to-do list on your desk. The ambitions? Abandoned hours ago.
You feel you should have gotten so much more done, but…
At the end of the day, you have no idea where the time went!
The next day. Same thing. You write out all of your ambitions. Item by item. You do everything in your power to cross it all off, but life inevitably gets in the way.
A week goes by. You’re feeling defeated. The needle barely moved. You had the best intentions, but time got away and now you’re behind on your most important tasks.
You chalk it up to it just being “a busy week.” You vow to start fresh on Monday…
And the cycle continues.
You need to stop writing to-do lists. They work for some people, but clearly not you and that’s okay because…
You can try a new approach. Something a little more radical and “in your face.”
But first, let’s take a quick moment to understand why to-do lists may not be working for you…
The Biggest Mistake You’re Making With Your To-Do Lists
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but…
Half the shit you’ve written down on that lists are irrelevant time wasters.
Hear me out!
Most people “co-mingle” their needle-moving and shallow tasks by putting them all on the same list.
Next thing you know,
You’re giving precious T.E.A. 🍵 (Time, Energy, & Attention) to tasks that are:
- Outside your zone of genius &…
- Don’t move the needle for you towards your big goals
Not understanding which tasks are needle-moving and which tasks are shallow can cause you to dedicate the most productive hours of the day to tasks that could wait.
In Module 3 of CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course: Narrow Your Focus, I discuss this in detail.
The point here is, your to-do lists are likely filled with items you have no business doing 💁🏾♀️.
Which leads me to my next point…
How to Identify Your Needle-Moving Tasks
When determining what needs to get done and when you have to understand your “zone of genius”.
A term famously coined by the author of The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks.
I define your “zone of genius” tasks as tasks that require your unique set of skills and knowledge.
The tasks can’t simply be delegated to someone else or automated using some software.
They are tasks that require your full attention and if it doesn’t get done, it affects other parts of your agenda.
When you think of it this way, it should be easier to identify the most important items on your to-do lists.
But remember, this was about kicking your to-do lists to the curb in favor of a more radical approach…
Do This Instead…
Now that you understand how to identify the “needle-moving” tasks on your to-do lists…
Take those tasks and add them directly to your Google Calendar- alarm, time block, and all!
This is about doing what you said you would do when you said you’d do it.
This eliminates many of the excuses like:
- “Someone booked me last minute so I couldn’t get to it.”
- “It slipped my mind because I was so swamped with other things”
- “I had an appointment I forgot about.”
When you make an appointment with yourself to complete a to-do list item three powerful things happen:
- Your calendar blocks that time off and eliminates the chance of you or someone else double booking that time allotted to the task.
- You get a reminder or alert telling you it’s time to do what you said you were going to do.
- You can see it ahead of time and plan to deal with shallow tasks that come up AFTER the designated time.
This will take some getting used to, but it can be effective.
Think about it:
We’re so conditioned to add meetings with others to our calendars with alerts so we won’t forget. Why not add meetings with ourselves to get our most pressing tasks done.
Seriously, our agenda has to come first or someone else will make us prioritize their agenda.
At some point, we have to grant ourselves permission to pivot our processes when they no longer work for us.
If you’re failing at the game of to-do lists. It’s time to do shit differently.
Want to learn more about reclaiming your T.E.A. and getting the RIGHT things done, at the RIGHT time, for the RIGHT reasons? Click here for an inside peek at my flagship program: CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course.