Why You Should Stop Keeping To-Do Lists
Why You Should Stop Keeping To-Do Lists

What do you need to do today? What are the plans? If you regularly read Lifehacker, then for sure you have a to-do list that you keep in a notebook or smartphone application. In this article, we will oppose these lists.

Why You Should Stop Keeping To-Do Lists
Why You Should Stop Keeping To-Do Lists

It seems like every 24 hours there is a new app or service for keeping a to-do list. There are even some crazy people like. But do they help you? Or whatever new app you use, you still can't keep that damn to-do list? The problem is not with you, but with these to-do lists.

A harmless tool designed to make your life easier is actually killing you, and here's why:

  • The to-do list gives you the illusion of progress.
  • The to-do list gives you the illusion of accomplishment.
  • A to-do list makes you feel guilty about not completing your assigned tasks.
  • The to-do list makes you feel guilty about being late in completing tasks.
  • A to-do list makes you feel guilty about not doing things that you don't want to do under any circumstances.
  • Your to-do list gives you the wrong priorities.
  • To-do lists are a waste of time. Think about how many things you could do instead of endlessly shuffling tasks in to-do lists.
  • To-do lists kill the fun of activities because you feel obligated to do the to-do list, not just want to do it.
  • To-do lists won't keep you organized.
  • To-do lists rob you of the spontaneity and ability to take on things you didn't originally plan. Let's face it: can EVERYTHING be planned?

You don't need to-do lists for the really big things in your life, you do them anyway. And if not, then you have serious problems and you should solve them before choosing a fresh planning application.

As for unimportant things, they will endlessly accumulate and wander from one list to another, rolling down into a huge lump that will put pressure on you from day to day. This sprawling list will hang over you like a guillotine, getting harder and sharper every day.

We accumulate unfinished business like trash in a closet: it seems that we do not have enough space to store things, but in reality we have too much that needs to be thrown away! We say: oh, if there were 25 hours in a day! 24 hours is not enough for all my affairs. Not enough time, but the ability to prioritize, the ability to exclude unnecessary tasks, say "no" to people and their own unnecessary ideas, delete dysfunctional projects and unnecessary things. Here's what might help:

Stop making to-do lists! Throw out all the lists now! Seriously. It's scary, but making the right choice is often intimidating.

You have an amazing tool - your brain. If, waking up in the morning, you cannot use it to figure out and remember what three important things you need to do today, it's time to correct this deficiency. And that doesn't mean you have to install another app or read a productivity article. You need to understand what is important to you, what motivates you, why your affairs are not so interesting to you that you remember them and do them.

Unlike all instruments, your brain is always with you and will be with you for the rest of your life. Learn to trust him. And if you can't, then train him until you can fully rely on him.