Do you draft a "to-do" list every day?
June 9, 2009 8:57am CST
Many days seem to bring numerous tasks and responsibilities,all of which apparently must be tackled right away.You spend a day putting out fires,but by the end of the day,you haven't accomplished any of the really important things you set out to do.In desperation,you draft a "to-do" list.But most days,you can make little progress with it.When you look at the list each morning,a big fat cloud of doom is right at the top-those difficult,complex,important tasks that are so crucial to get done and so easy to avoid.Plenty of us create a "to-do" list to address feelings of being overwhelmed,but we rarely use these tools to their best effect.They wind up being guilt-provoking reminders of the fact that we are over-committed,and losing control of our priorities.According to Timothy Pikle,professor of a psychology at Carlton University in Ottawa.People often draw up a "to-do" list and then that's it.The list itself becomes the day's achievement,allowing us to feel we've done something useful without taking on any real work.In fact,drawing up the list becomes a way of avoiding the work itself."Too often,the list is seen as the accomplishment for the day,reducing the immediate guilt of not working on the tasks at hand by investing energy in the list," says Pikle,"when a lis is used like this ,it's simply another way in which we lie to ourselves."
9 Jun 09
I sometimes make that sort of list when I know I have specific things that need to be done on a given day - like appointments or people I must call. If I want to accomplish a number of tasks, I will sometimes include a few things I've already done so that I feel as though I've made a start. I dont consider the list an accomplishment until I've crossed a number of them off. Today I must iron my uniforms and prepare tomorrow's packed lunch. I have already tackled some paperwork and wont be able to cut the grass because its raining.