Long lists are guilt trips

How is your to-do list looking these days? Is it helping you or is it weighing you down? If a list has too many items on it, it probably isn’t that useful. Of course, how many items are too many is up to you to decide.

The problem with long lists is described succinctly in Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson. See if this resonates:

Long lists are guilt trips. The longer the list of unfinished items, the worse you feel about it. And at a certain point, you just stop looking at it because it makes you feel bad. Then you stress out and the whole thing turns into a big mess.

Once a list gets too long, get rid of it. After that, rewrite it based on what is important now. Use Warren Buffet’s 2 list strategy and the Eisenhower Matrix to help sort through what should be on the list.

Scared to get rid of all the to-dos?

You shouldn’t be.

If there’s a request that you keep forgetting, that’s a sign that it isn’t very important. The really important stuff doesn’t go away.

The really important stuff will always come back.

Comments welcome!

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