Your To-Do List is Not a Storage Unit:
Most of all, don’t leave tasks on there to be stored away like your old bike or other items that you have in a storage unit while you feel guilty for not doing them. None of us have enough time to get everything done we want to get done. There is little sense in keeping old tasks on your list to be aimlessly shuffled around. Let’s remember things on our list should be for only the immediate and important items. Things that go beyond immediate should go on our calendars and items that are not important or are not missed if we don’t get them done soon, really should not be on our list all together. Knowing when something isn’t important and isn’t worth your physical or mental energy is just as important as knowing when it’s time to commit yourself to a task.
Your To-Do List Is Not for Motivation:
Your to-do list is not a motivational tool. Don’t put easy tasks on it just to check them off. Don’t put vague habit-related tasks on there like “exercise”. Exercising is important, sure, but not critical daily tasks and more importantly to-do’s like this dilute the power of your to-do list. You should feel confident that when you look at your list of tasks you’re looking at a list of effective next actions that are an efficient use of your time. You want to keep the tasks on your list immediate and important. You write stuff down because you want to get it done in a concrete and tangible way, not because you like looking at a piece of paper and remembering how you don’t have enough time in your work week to hit the gym.
Your to-do list is a commitment you make to yourself to get things done and to be a productive person. In closing, this is why I have truly enjoyed Apples iOS 5 update with what they call their to-do list “Reminders”. I can keep my list just on my phone, or in the cloud so it syncs with all of my devices. The one item that makes this my go to to-do list app is the “remind me” area. Here in this area I can choose to be reminded of a to-do item on a specific day or when I arrive at a location. Yes, when I arrive or leave a location. If I want to turn in my receipts for reimbursement next time I arrive at church (I tend to forget this all the time), I set the remind me for the church by pulling the church address out of my address book so when I pull up to the church my alarm goes off and tells me to turn in receipts. Very cool!
What tools do you use?