In This Episode
Having decided to trial a couple of to do list solutions I thought I’d do a quick bit of research on the best to do list advice. I share my findings in this episode. There is some interesting stuff to come out of this, some of which surprised me.
Episode Show Notes
00:15 – The Background to this episode – having decided to run a test between Evernote and Wunderlist, I thought I would do a search for the best to do list advice I could find.
00:53 – The first article I found was one called “Five Best To Do List Tips” on the Forbes.com blog by Vanessa Loder.
01:15 – According to Vanessa, common mistakes made by people when it comes to their to do list are:
- They confuse quality with quantity. Her advice – have no more than 3 things on your daily to do list.
- People often torture themselves with their daily to do list because it usually contains many things on it at the end of the day that have not got done
01:58 – Vanessa also shared a couple of secrets about using a to do list correctly:
- Write your list out the night before.
- Work on the top item on your list until it is done before moving on to the next item.
- A to do list is a good place to dump everything you need to get done and get it out of your head.
03:11 – The second article I found was by Anne Clarke, a comedy writer from Nebraska called “5 Ways To Stop Hating Your To Do List“. Initially I wasn’t expecting much from the title, however it turned out to be an excellent article.
03:39 – Anne wrote about the Zeigarnik effect. This is the ability to remember unfinished tasks. Writing them down on a to do list apparently has the same mental relief as actually completing the task – an action that will free up mental resources.
04:20 – I had an experience of this effect when I put all my reactive business to dos into Evernote.
04:39 – The most powerful thing I got from Anne’s article was the tip to write your to dos for your future lazy self. Instead of writing “Hair” for example as a reminder to get your hair cut, write “Call Delma’s Salon on XXX-XXX-XXX and arrange cut and blow dry for Wednesday afternoon”
05:50 – Another recommendation was to categorise your list into Must Dos and Nice To Dos as a way of pre-prioritising what needs to be done.