“What?” you shriek! “Losers are not productive!”… I know… and if you are a list maker… NEITHER ARE YOU.
I know it’s a rude awakening. I know what I’m saying flies in the face of all you’ve been taught. But, to do lists really are for losers. The more lists you make, the less you get done… think about it… every day you create a to do list. You put all of the tasks that you want to get done by the end of the day on your list. Then you spend your time checking things off, one by one until the day runs out. At the end of the day, you return to your list feeling like you worked hard and were effective… then you look at the list of 42 things you planned to get done and 4 are checked off. You drop the list in horror. Where did the day go? What happened to all of your time? How could this have happened to YOU. YOU are organized. YOU make to-do lists… ugggh… the day, and you, are a complete failure. Well, don’t worry, tomorrow brings another to do list, and another opportunity to get invalidated.
The problem is that your to do list is not based on a time frame. It is a list of unidentified projects and tasks with no time requirement staring you in the face. Had you sat down at the beginning of the day, listed your tasks, put the time it would take to complete each and then TIMEBLOCKED those tasks you were most committed to into your calendar… you would be looking at your day feeling accomplished. You would have chosen the 4 tasks and know that they would take you all 8 hours to accomplish. Therefore, you would leave work feeling effective and validated.
To do lists undermine productivity because each task is not linked to a time slot in your calendar. You project (with hope overflowing) dozens of items you will complete in a day, but when broken down into time slots, you find that you cannot accomplish 50 hours of work in an 8 hour day. Truthfully, you cannot actually accomplish 8 hours of work in an 8 hour day. NO ONE works 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 8 hours a day. We all have to each lunch, use the bathroom, blow our nose and take a swig or two of our favorite beverages. When we make a to do list, we are in hopes about accomplishing what we have laid out. We are hoping we can get it all done, when, in truth, it is impossible.
When you timeblock your tasks, you are making choices based on what is REALLY happening during your day. You are living in reality and being transparent. In turn, you have the power to produce results and control your day. Timeblocking gives you the ability to truly prioritize your work and make choices based on those priorities.
Step away from the to do list and welcome the ability to produce results and amaze yourself in the process!