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Author Topic: The reason why it's hard for people to finish their to do lists is because...  (Read 3402 times)

Paul Keith

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The reason why it's hard for people to finish their to do lists is because when you are working on a project the elements of that project constantly change.

Full Comment:

I don't agree with this article. I know she sites a study about this but I'm skeptical of the results or the interpretations of the results.

I've always been a "to-do" person. I kept long lists of tasks and got extremely good at organizing my tasks into different categories or topics. But I never really got good at finishing anything. Every morning I would wake up, look at my list and feel like my tasks were never going to end. This caused me to procrastinate and take "breaks". I needed a break from thinking about all the things I had left to do.

I recently threw away my task list. I kept extremely important tasks but I got rid of everything else. For the last 4 days I have been more productive then I've been over the past month. I've also gotten into the habit of writing down what I've accomplished during the day. Now when I wake up I look over what I accomplished yesterday and it motivates me to keep accomplishing things.

I think the reason why it's hard for people to finish their to do lists is because when you are working on a project the elements of that project constantly change. You might also plan to do some step of the project but then change your mind or realize that there's another, better way to do it. This is how our brains work more than anything. Our brains are wired to figure out things as we go along and solve problems along the way. It's extremely difficult for me to finish a project if everything has been laid out for me in advance. The to do list makes me feel like I can't make any changes to the goal or to the steps to reach that goal.

If you want to be more productive try eliminating some of your tasks or responsibilities. I really don't think the specific way you "get stuff done" really matters. Everyone is different in that regard.  Obviously there are always going to be things we have to do that we really don't want to do but I think that list is a lot shorter than we think it is. What really matters is that you just do whatever it is that needs to get
done and you eliminate those tasks that don't really matter.

Source of comment:

P.S. I'll still be inactive. Quote was just too good to pass up.

Just lots of factors why I made this:
-Currently looking on my old posts and checking if there's any I can subjot
-Looks like Tree List has officially been abandoned which kind of sucks. Thankfully the forum link was still up. Hopefully someone improves on it. I would add it to coding requests but the thread would just turn into a feature list for any to-do app.
-The subject was interesting and this particular comment can be considered critical to improving the concept of a to-do list program though I don't have any specific ideas
-Finally wanted to add something new related to mouser's chore cards but saw the warning and didn't want to necro the topic even though it's just below this thread.

Anyway see you guys around. Too bad GOE pretty much kind of died out. The modified chore cards I used was just getting a set of trading cards and adding sticky notes on the back and shuffle them and then just do those tasks. Not really that good as the sticky notes prevent the cards from being shuffled well but it works ok enough for motivating me to do non-daily chores. (I plan to add this to the blog/e-book but lately the contents are not looking very good.)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 03:54 AM by Paul Keith »