"To Do" or Not "To Do"

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It's important to be organized. That's true for everyone, but especially for leaders. If you're not organized, you can't get things done. And if you can't get things done, you can't lead well. Pretty simple, right? Understanding the basic principles of organization, and what tools work best for you based on your personality and wiring can help you increase your productivity and become the best leader you can be.

Everything You Know About Getting Things Done is Wrong is a newly published article by Dr. Henry Cloud (co-author of Boundaries). It's worth checking out. Dr. Cloud digs deeply into the purpose of "to do" lists, exploring when they work, when they don't, and how you can improve your ability to get things done even if you're not a list-maker.

Here's a brief excerpt of the article:

Do not let minor things compete with the main things. That is the problem with lists that are too long. Theydo not give the proper weight to the main things, nor do they assign an absolute personal demand to get a certain activity done that day that will move the ball forward.

  • Prioritize everything to determine what will make it on the list. All items are not equal. Limit it to what you will actually do, and do for sure.
  • Schedule the most important first.
  • Schedule other more minor “have to’s” with specific times so they will not distract you from the main things.
  • Keep a collection of everything else on a different list, to then filter through and add to your future lists if important enough.

Read the entire thing.

Are you a list-maker? Whether you are or not, is your current method of staying organized helping you to get things done or is it holding you back?