Blow Up Your To-Do List

I have been studying task management for a while, trying to find the best possible way to manage all that I have on my plate. Recently I realized that I was going about this all wrong. I decided to blow up my To-Do List.

(c) thinkstock

(c) Thinkstock

You should too.

Here are four reasons why you should blow up your To-Do List.

  1. It doesn’t give you any sense of priority

The list is just…a list. Oh sure, some people put 1, 2, 3… on the list. And then they change it around. Or skip #1 because #5 looks easier. There’s also no sense of how long it might take to complete something. Or whether there are actually 10 tasks buried inside that one line item. Or whether an item is even actionable.

  1. It will never go away

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You write 8 tasks on the list. You cross off 3. Then you add 5 more. Unless you create a different list each day, you end up with stuff being added all the time. The list takes on a life of its own. And it’s a blend of tasks, like “cook beans” – a simple personal item, and “podcast episode 29”, which is actually about 5 different steps that take several hours.

  1. It drags you down

You may feel a great amount of satisfaction when you cross tasks off the To-Do List. I know I do. But when I see how many I miss every day, as if I could EVER get everything I put on that list done in a day, I feel like I failed. I beat myself up. Perhaps you get that way too. You set yourself (or your spouse) up for failure by loading the list up with more than is humanly possible, then naively expect you’ll get it done.

  1. You are a human being, not a human doing

We spend so much time doing that we forget that we are human beings. We act like machines. On the go all the time. More, faster, cheaper. We get so used to moving fast that we don’t know how to stop. We might notice that our life is empty. We become slaves to the list. And is more actually better? Not if it robs us of the essence of our humanity – our being.

What if you created a To-Be List instead?

A To-Be List asks how we want to live. Love. Work. Play. To-Dos can flow from there, but they feel more organic, natural. It’s a completely different mindset. Having a To-Be List says “Who do I want to be, and what might it take to get there?” It leaves room for curiosity. Play. Adventure. Fun. That’s quite different from

-Buy Groceries
-Water the Plants
-Financial Planning

Throw off the shackles of your To-Do List. Get an incendiary device and blow it to smithereens. Find creative ways to keep track of what you must. (I talked a bit about it in podcast episode 025.) Focus on what’s most important.

Ignite your soul from the embers of your To-Do List.

How does the thought of blowing up your To-Do List make you feel? Does it excite you? Scare you? What might your life be like if you actually did it? Leave a comment below.

Share with a friend!  Blow up your To-Do Lists together.