Doing Your To-Dos: Why it Pays to Involve Others

Taking a Second Look at Your To-Do List

We use a ton of productivity tools here at Less Doing.

Calvin…

Evernote…

Toggl…

And I’d bet money I’m the world’s biggest fan of Slack and Trello

These and the other tech tools are assets we use to keep our operation running smoothly.

But you want know a secret?

The tools you use to take your productivity to the next level don’t always have to be high-tech to be high-value.

In fact, some times the most productive tool in your arsenal (note—I said “your arsenal” not mine) is something you’d least expect…

The to-do list

That’s right, the to-do list—that idea-gathering device I’ve long lambasted—can occasionally be useful.

Many of you create to-do lists every day, and of course I know why—they’re simple, familiar, and somewhat effective at helping you catalogue your thoughts.

But like any productivity tool, the to-do list is only as good as you make it, and when you don’t make your to-do list good—manwill it slow you down.

In fact, it’ll do more than slow you down—it’ll paralyze you.

Projects will stall, reminders will stack, and that to-do list will keep growing…

And growing…

And GROWING...

You’ll feel overwhelmed, incapacitated, and utterly incapable of making clear, impactful decisions.

(See tunnel vision) 

When this happens, whatever positive use you could have extracted from the to-do list will be next to nil.

Unless...

Unless you can find a way to remove the roadblock…

Fortunately for you, I have one.

Give your to-do list to someone else

No, I’m not telling you to hand it off to a VA (though that is an option), I’m telling you to give your to-do list to anyone else.

Just ask them to look at it, see what questions they ask, and what comments they make.

       Why are you trying to do that?

       Wouldn’t it be easier to hire someone to help?

       How are you going to get that done?

       This doesn’t make sense…

       I did something like this before…

It’s an incredibly powerful way to get the ball rolling again on stalled projects. A fresh pair of eyes can point out something that you’re simply failing to notice. It can motivate you to reprioritize and reorganize.

Again, the person you give your to-do list to can be anyone—a VA, a friend, or a stranger at the bus stop, it doesn’t matter. 

It’s going to help you gain a different perspective and zero-in on what’s getting holding up your most imperative projects.  

-Ari