This article comes from Entrepreneur.
How do you keep your life organized?
For some people, such as entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, they prefer to do lists. Other entrepreneurs, like Kevin Kruse, fall more into the calendar camp. So, who’s right and who’s wrong?
“I have always lived my life by making lists,” writes Richard Branson. “These vary from lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen. I also have lists of topics to blog about, lists of tweets to send, and lists of upcoming plans. Each day I work through these lists. By ticking off each task, my ideas take shape and plans move forward.”
To-do lists can also help your brain:
At the same time, some believe that to do lists don’t work because:
If you believe that to-do lists will work for you, here’s when you should put tasks on your to dos:
After interviewing more than 200 billionaires, Olympians, straight-A students and entrepreneurs, Kevin Kruse has come to the conclusion that successful individuals don’t use to do lists. Here’s what Kruse had to say in Forbes:
“First, a to do list doesn’t account for time. When we have a long list of tasks, we tend to tackle those that can be completed quickly in a few minutes, leaving the longer items left undone. Research from the company iDoneThis indicates that 41 percent of all to do list items are never completed!
Second, a to do list doesn’t distinguish between urgent and important. Once again, our impulse is to fight the urgent and ignore the important. (Are you overdue for your next colonoscopy or mammogram?)
Third, to do lists contribute to stress. In what’s known in psychology as the Zeigarnik effect, unfinished tasks contribute to intrusive, uncontrolled thoughts. It’s no wonder we feel so overwhelmed in the day, but fight insomnia at night.”
Daniel Markovitz also believes that to do-lists don’t work. As he explained in the Harvard Business Review, to do lists are “setting you up for failure and frustration” because:
Because of these reasons, Markovitz suggests that you “live” in your calendar. “That means taking your tasks off the to do list, estimating how much time each of them will consume, and transferring them to your calendar.”
As Kayla Sloan wrote in a previous Calendar post, online calendars come with advantages like:
I’d also add that by using my calendar I don’t over-commit. I consult my calendar before agreeing to taking-on any new tasks or meetings. Also, by putting my to do-lists into my calendar I can take into consideration the location, materials needed, and energy level in advance.
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