No more “to-do” lists

Last week, I explained the power of the PICK tool for prioritizing tasks. One characteristic that makes this tool so helpful is that it eliminates the old and ineffective “to-do” list.

This is hard for me to say, because, quite honestly, I’m a list-maker. Believe me – I love my lists! I love to write them, and I love to cross things off. But I’ve learned that the satisfaction of crossing something off my list does not translate into progress or productivity. It translates into movement, which can easily fool us into thinking we’re productive.

Another productivity tip I want to share with you this week is yet another way to dump the “to-do list.” Instead of making a list of every task you want to complete, identify 3 important projects you want to move forward for the week. This helps you focus on the big, important projects that really make a difference for you. This puts you in charge. You’re in control of what you decide is important.

Conversely, when you make lists, you become a servant to every task that pushes and pulls on you. When you’re focused on moving that big thing forward, you’re less likely to get lulled into the illusion that getting through your to-do list equates to productivity.

Recently, I decided to replace my kitchen floor. Well, a you can guess, it turned into a whole project. What started as replacing the kitchen floor evolved into painting, replacing cabinet handles, new window treatments, etc. The details on my list grew and grew. It felt daunting to look at that list that kept driving me toward more and more work.

I finally threw out the list. I simply decided that my priority was to move the kitchen forward each week.

So next week, write your 3 big projects that you will commit to moving forward. Stay committed every day to moving those projects ahead. By the end of the week, you’ll feel more satisfied and fulfilled in knowing that you progressed. You’ll be surprised at how much progress you’ve made.

 

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