The Growing Tail of To-do List
To-do list has been the hallmark trick of the productivity philosophy around the globe. If you’re like me, you must be making list of things to remember and to get things done.
But it’s not uncommon for you to find the list dangerously growing and you find yourself dismayed and overwhelmed by the list of items you need to do.
Procrastination starts here.
The List Becomes the Problem
It is not about not doing things, but about doing things randomly without a structured engagement. In this ultimate demise of structures, you simply excuse yourself not getting the to-do list completed, because of the list itself.
What was intended to solve the problem becomes problem.
You simply procrastinate on the task that is on the list.
Rather a Simple Solutions
You have your list of to-do lists in your notebook/ digital app.
Simply draw a line at the end of the last to-do list item (or decide the end point of your to-do list).
Here is how it goes:
- You add any new task you come up with after this line.
- Now, those above your line becomes your old to-do lists/ backlogs and those below are your new tasks.
- Here is the rule: You get to work only on items in the old list. Only, if only, you complete your items on your ‘old’ list, you move on to the new list.
- Then immediately, you draw a line below the last task of your new list, which now becomes your ‘old’ list. Everything added after this new ‘old’ list is your new list.
You can process your the ‘old’ list (which is technically working-on list) in variety of ways – prioritize it, use AutoFocus System or Final Version System. Ultimately engage with it and get it done.
This simple technique converts your open list to a closed list. And frees you of the feeling of overwhelm from a non-ending list. It is no more not ending. At the same time, you’re not be bothered by the growing to-do list. While at the same time, focus on your existing closed list to get things done.
And that’s what we all want: stress-free productivity.