Five problems with the to-do list or Daniel Markovitz’s argument for migrating to-do lists into calendars:
- First, they overwhelm us with too many choices.
- Second, we are naturally drawn to simpler tasks which are more easily accomplished.
- Third, we are rarely drawn to important-but-not-urgent tasks, like setting aside time for learning.
- Fourth, to-do lists on their own lack the essential context of what time you have available.
- Fifth, they lack a commitment device, to keep us honest.
The only thing worse than having a long to-do list is not knowing how you’re going to get everything done.
Timeboxing can help:
It’s a way of converting your to-do list into blocks of time on your calendar, so you have a plan for what to do and when.
Start by looking at your to-do list and figuring out each task’s deadlines.
- For example, if a important meeting is planned on Tuesday, and it is important that participants needs at least a day to prepare, then put a hold on your calendar at least 2 days before Tuesday.
- Repeat for each item on your to-do list.
If you work on a team where people can see one another’s calendars, timeboxing has the added benefit of showing people that the work will get done on time. But the biggest advantage of timeboxing might be that it gives you a feeling of control over your calendar — which can help you feel happier at work.
Read more about “How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive” by Marc Zao-Sanders