To-Do Lists Don’t Work

To-Do Lists Don't Work – Daniel Markovitz – Harvard Business Review.

I agree with this article just as much as I disagree with it. I agree in that to-do lists do not work. Having a random list consisting of both blue-sky items as well as a reminder to pick up the milk just doesn’t make sense to me. Organizing your lists and categorizing them into projects does, however. Applying a context to each item can help immensely, although I don’t have that very tightly integrated within my workflow.

That’s where GTD comes into play. Personally, I don’t want a calendar full of tasks, I’ve got way too many. Additionally, I think it’s important to keep a ‘Someday’ list, even if it can be perceived as discouraging. The purpose of writing things down is to not forget them. I have silly ideas all the time and I like to write them down to see what sticks. To not write something down because you can’t feasibly take care of it in a reasonably small timeframe seems limiting to me.

I could speak to this for a while, but don’t want to push my workflow onto everybody, just encourage you to ditch a ‘one size fits all’ to-do list and give yourself some structure if you think that could work.