Seriously, Get Rid of Your To Do List Now Before it Destroys You


A few days ago I wrote this post about getting rid of your "to do" list and replacing it with a streamlined inbox and a few useful web apps. I just found out about the Zeigarnik Effect which basically says "The Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pg. 122). The automatic system signals the conscious mind, which may be focused on new goals, that a previous activity was left incomplete. It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance." 

So it's bad enough that your subconscious is working to distract you and remind you that you aren't getting stuff done, don't smack yourself in the face with a constant visual reminder of all the tasks that you have to do. Get rid of your static to do list and only deal with things that are timely and in the now. Practice "out of sight, out of mind." You'll get more done, and be happier.