Do to-do lists help you?

United States
July 14, 2007 3:59pm CST
This morning, while I was waiting for my fiance to get finished with an appointment, I sat in the coffee shop and made lists of things I needed to accomplish. When we finally got home, I immediately sat down to work on a project that wasn't on any of my lists. I commented that this must be why I always feel like I have so much to do: I make to-do lists, and then I do things that aren't on those lists! Do you find that your to-do lists help you stay on target, or do they just become a list of things that you need to get done, but that you ignore in favor of other tasks? (And I shouldn't point out that "posting on myLot" was NOT on my to-do list for today...)
19 responses
@inked4life (4227)
• United States
14 Jul 07
I'm defonitiely the kind of person who benefits from structure and pklanning and making lists. I'm not the most motivated person in the world but if I make a list of what needs to be done it seems to get me kick-started. There is something very powerful about checking off the finished items on your list.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 07
good lord, look at my spelling of "definitely" #1 on my to-do list....slow down and spell check
1 person likes this
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
14 Jul 07
I read somewhere that making a to-do-list can help you become a successful individual. However, not every one who makes a to-do-list became successful. The main difference is that those who are successful actually do the things in their lists, while those are not, just keep making lists. I believe in list-keeping myself. When I was in college, juggling school, extra-curricular activities and a part-time job, my to-do list kept me organized, productive and sane. As an adult with many responsibilities, I stillkeep a small notebook all the time where I jot down things I need to get done. Listmaking has become an important part of my life, and it allows me to stay on top of things most of the time. I believe that a to-do-list will only be useful if you actually use it. If not, it is just a waste of your time, energy and paper. You might as well, just do what you want.
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
15 Jul 07
Thank you for choosing my answer as best response.
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
23 Jul 07
Oh yes, I am a list addict I think. I have them at home and at work. At work they are mostly on many multi-colored post-it notes posted all over my work space....I think my desk looks like a crazy person works there, but this system of "organization" seems to work for me. plus I like the satisfaction of tearing them up when the list is completed. When I find myself doing things that aren't on my "to-do list" I add them anyway and the cross them right off. This way it feels like I actaully made pregress on doing stuff. There is something about crossing off items that is just so satisfying!
1 person likes this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
16 Jul 07
Absolutely, to-do lists help me. I used them a lot more efficiently when I worked full time. Now that I am a stay at home mom I find myself in your situation real often. I make lists but then other things take priority and I do things as they come at me. I have had to start taking my list one step further. I highlight the things on my list that must get done before the end of the day/week/whatever. That has started helping me a little bit. My husband figured out my system and has started highlighting things for me (things that would make his life better, of course).... I wasn't amused. ;P
1 person likes this
• India
15 Jul 07
to sum extent..but altough much more time is watsed in prep 'em..but yes dey do help to a gr8 extent in shapin up ur day..i guess a proper do to list is a gud success recipie.!!!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Jul 07
A to do list doesn't have to dictate your life! I use it as a reminder because I tend to be very forgetful, but I don't say to myself you have to do this and only this. Nothing can be planned head of time perfectly and there will always be last minute adjustments so to reiterate... a to do list is a guide and shouldn't be anything more...
1 person likes this
@shrekk (561)
• Pakistan
15 Jul 07
I think you're just like me! I've been lately thinking about organizing myself and I made a to-do list for the next time I use the internet. I ended up doing some totally new stuff! I think it's just that some people are just more naturally organized then others and 'others' have to make themselves so. I don't think the list is not helpful, it did help to relieve the burden off my head of the thought that "I am forgetting something I must do", but we just need to follow that list more strictly.
1 person likes this
@ky1119 (699)
• United States
15 Jul 07
I'm no good at lists. Sure, I can make them like a champ, but either I just don't do whats on the list, or I lose it. Every time I make a grocery list, I leave the house without it. It never fails. If I make a to-do list, I lose it. I really wish I was better at following the lists I make. I think it would make life a lot easier. I'm trying to make some changes to my life, so maybe I'll make list making a change too.
@coffeeshot (3786)
• Australia
15 Jul 07
I live my life by to-do lists! I get sort of anxious if I have a few things to get done. I'm worried that I'll forget something so I spend a lot of my time making lists. Usually I stick to the list but if I'm lazy, and it's not an urgent task, I'll dragit out for a couple of days. Because procrastination is my middle name.
1 person likes this
• China
15 Jul 07
I seldom use to-do lists. Maybe because I am a student and I don't have many important things to do everyday. Once I had an appointment with a friend, but he forgot it. I got quite angry with him. He told me the next time he would put our appointment into his agenda. Haha..
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 07
Yeah they do if I carry them out properly.
• United States
15 Jul 07
lists help me if i'm food shopping..if i don't forget the list that is LOL usually i'll keep to the list for the most part though.
1 person likes this
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
15 Jul 07
I usually do have a to-do-list for things to accomplish but not necessarily for that particular day - sometimes I have several because I misplace the paper, write it out again. Most of the time I do the things on my list, and some of the time I completely ignore it and do something else LOL I have so many notebooks that I don't know why I keep buying them if I am not going to use them for my day to day things to do. Now I have a calendar and write things on that and remind myself these need to get done today, I always miss out at least one thing on the list though.
1 person likes this
@pendragon (3352)
• United States
15 Jul 07
If the things that I have to do, are important enough for me to write them out, then yes a list does help me, it kind of drops the gauntlet and challenges me to actually get done what I need to, and even though that shouldnt have to be, I like the motivational factor of feeling good as I cross the "done" things off the list,lol.
1 person likes this
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
14 Jul 07
Honey - Do - This is a reminder to myself to make a list of things that need to do! A "honey do" list for myself! LOL
I find that to-do lists do help me to be more focused on what needs to be done. As I cross off each completed item, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment on a job completed and probably well-done. This is, of course, IF I get that to-do list written in the first place! I most often forget to make the to-do list and then can never remember what I was either going to do or was supposed to do. So I need a reminder to make that to-do list!!
1 person likes this
@wooitsmolly (3613)
• United States
14 Jul 07
I make to-do lists every day just to remind myself what I should be doing. Most of the time I do maybe one or two things on the list, but oh well! I am not good at motivating myself. I like to keep lists anyway, I don't know why, I don't even really use them now that I think about it.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 07
I do find that to-do lists help me alot because I get things done. Sometimes I have to do something and I forget what it was I had to do, so I find it better to use to-do lists because I won't forget what I have to do for the day.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
14 Jul 07
Sure it makes you feel like you have alot to do but when you start marking things off and finish the list it makes you feel really really good and like you have accomplished something for the day. Which is alot better than feeling like you havent done or accomplished anything.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
24 Jul 07
I don't do lists, it never worked for me. I just remember them in my head and plan what to do first. I am more comfortable doing it that way rather than putting them all on paper. If I start putting them on paper, there would be so many things to do and I know I don't have time to do them all. So if I just do things that I remember, it means that are the most important things that should be done. In that way too, I won't feel too guilty not being able to accomplish other pending tasks.