Throw away your to-do lists

If you are smug about your wonderful to-do lists, think again. It is, says Jim Bird, the worst way to manage your time.

Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

To-do lists lead to more to-do lists the day after and the transfer of tasks from one day to the next. The best thing to use is a one-to-two-page planner (notepaper or electronic) in which you write down your task on specific days. The most important tasks go into today’s date, the less important go into the date you think it should be done by. The unimportant tasks don’t get in at all.

Ensure you write all relevant details about meetings, appointments, phone numbers, tasks etc on the relevant day in the planner. Having notes all over the place only leads to 'stress city'. Bird, who insists he has no vested interest in the planner industry, swears by them.

Finally, keep it simple. Many electronic planners will have all kinds of 'bells and whistles' as add-ons. Ignore them. And the two main routes to the successful use of a planner (and time management nirvana) is to always jot down a task on the relevant date as soon as you know about it and to always open your planner every day. One thing Bird does not mention: never ever lose your planner!

Source: End Procrastination: Throw away your to do list and learn good time management techniques
Jim Bird
Review by Morice Mendoza recommends

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