Common To-Do List Mistakes: How To Avoid Them

Common To-Do List Mistakes How To Avoid Them

If you write a to-do list for more productivity, you have to be careful not to make these mistakes!

Is your to-do list getting longer and longer and important tasks often left behind? Perhaps the list is part of the problem: if it is not managed correctly, it causes frustration and overwhelming demands. The most common to-do list mistakes – and how to avoid them for more productivity.

Common To-Do List Mistakes How To Avoid Them

Too Many Tasks

Some people have just one to-do list that they write new tasks every day – more than they can handle. The problem: If you have 45 points to work through, you quickly lose the desire to even start.

Do it properly: weigh up which tasks are really important before you put them on your to-do list: which tasks do you absolutely have to do? Which ones can you delegate? The Eisenhower Matrix will help you with this as it is known for the Urgent-Important Matrix.

Also helpful: Select a few daily tasks from the large to-do list and write a separate daily list.

No Deadlines

With ongoing to-do lists, there is another danger: Since the tasks have no fixed deadline, they will not be completed.

Do it properly: set a deadline for each task. You should plan as realistic a processing time as possible – otherwise, there is a risk of stress and frustration if you cannot meet deadlines.

Too Big A Task

The best thing about a to-do list? The feeling of being able to tick off a completed task. However, if the tasks are complex and lengthy, this rarely happens – and the reward effect is not felt. And if the to-dos cannot be done in one day, there is also the risk of the list overflowing.

Do it properly: Divide large long-term tasks into smaller individual tasks. For example, instead of “Create a customer presentation”, write “Put together material for a customer presentation” and then “1. Draft customer presentation “. This makes goals achievable – and you stay more motivated for the next task. With this, you can automatically increase your productivity.

No Priorities? No Productivity!

  • Take Out The Trash
  • Call Your Client
  • Write A 30-Page Report
  • Buy Eggs

Which task do you do first: one that can be done in five minutes or one that takes hours to complete? Many people tick off the quick, easy tasks first. As a result, the important but more complex tasks take a back seat. This is especially annoying when a task is urgent and you have to get it done under time pressure.

Do it properly: sort the to-dos according to urgency and importance. So you don’t overlook important tasks and don’t put them off forever.

Vague Tasks

With vaguely worded tasks like, you never know exactly when you will be finished. When, for example, can you finally tick off the to-do “win new customers”? After the first phone call? Or only when 20 new customers have paid their first bill?

Do it properly: formulate tasks as precisely as possible. For example, anyone who takes on “Call 4 potential new customers this week” knows exactly when they have made it.

Recommended Readings: Eliminate The Confusion Of Tasks

To-Do List In The Morning?

Don’t Write Your To-do List Until The Morning: Many entrepreneurs come to work in the morning and are greeted by heaps of emails, messages, and appointments. Write a to-do list in peace? No!

Do it properly: write the list the day before – as a kind of handover to yourself. This way, you can start right away when you have the time and don’t have to think about what you are actually doing today.

Mirza Hamza Baig
Hamza Baig is the founder and chief editor for S-Nation Media. As editor-in-chief, He has been responsible for the content published on survivednation.com for almost four years. He is on a mission to create a platform to inspire people and to provide content promoting the idea of self-improvement and entrepreneurship.