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Productivity - Why your to-do lists are failing you

Why Your To-Do Lists Are Failing You

goals productivity Jan 30, 2022

Did you make a to-do list for the day? If so, how far have you gone, or did you completely forget about it already? Well, don’t worry too much. As roughly 41% of items on most people’s to-do lists never get done, you are not alone.

Most people are not making the right to-do lists either. The best way to fix it and have it work for you and not against you is first to understand the common reasons why they fail in the first place.

Here are five common reasons to-do lists fail and how you can do better:

Way too Many Things to Do
To-do lists should never be pages long or used for the long term. Instead, they should focus on daily tasks within a certain period of time you plan to get to work. Meaning you should have multiple to-do lists, not one overwhelming one that will surely get you lost.

Unclear Deadlines
You must set hard deadlines and have the discipline to follow through. A to-do list without them only gives you the permission to take your time or not do it at all. Understand how long it really takes to do each activity, including prep, and clean up – and never assume you can do double the amount of work you can do overnight.

You Don’t Account for The Unexpected
No ones’ schedule is perfect, so don’t plan it that way. Account for flexibility and always include an extra fifteen minutes each day for the unexpected. You may end up in the bathroom or traffic a little longer than you realized, for example. So, don’t schedule important meetings or errands to accomplish back-to-back with the idea that everything will go smoothly.

It Was Created with A Long-Term Mindset
In other words, you are giving yourself too much time to complete tasks or are creating to-do lists for more than one day. Your to-do lists will guide and maintain your 90-day action plan. They are not meant to replace it. Be sure the lists are to the point and a direct path for achieving your primary objective for that day or even a 90-minute period.

Unorganized and Unclear Main Objectives
Taking the time to dissect and pinpoint what you want to achieve is crucial to accomplishing them. If you can’t have a firm grip on what you want, you can’t be sure you will have the right plan either. Unclear objectives lead to unorganized plans, ideas, and actions. Learn to understand what you need and want and prioritize to get things done in a timely and orderly fashion.

Don’t let your to-do lists fail you anymore. To-do lists are great to utilize and guide your day to ensure you are on the right trajectory to long-term success, as long as they are done correctly.



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