No Ordinary Moments why your to do list isn't working: learning from failure
Why Your To-Do List Isn't Working: Learning from Failure

Read time: 2 min

In a world where everything moves at a million miles an hour, it can be hard to keep up.

We all have tasks to accomplish, appointments to keep, and deadlines to meet. And for most of us, a to-do list is an essential tool to help us stay on track.

But with so many apps, systems, and methods out there, finding the right to-do list can feel like a never-ending quest.

Maybe you've tried a dozen different apps, each promising to be the solution to your productivity woes. Or perhaps you've experimented with different methods, like bullet journaling or time blocking, but nothing seems to stick.

For me, I must be on my 10th app, 5th system and millionth task. Every few weeks, I'll come across a new concept to manage my task. I'll try it for a few days and never look at it again. The failure to adopt a new system will leave me dejected.

Am I too disorganised for a to-do list? Probably not.

Learning from Failure: Why Your To-Do List Isn't Working:

I just hadn't found the shoe that fits. We all live and think in different ways, so we need a system that fits our unique way of working. Some people will find their system early, while others may still be searching.

You could try the brute force approach to finding a to-list, trying out as many as you can until one fits. Or a new idea I have been thinking about is to learn from your failures.

Instead, I ask myself: why didn't this work for me?

My problem was the size of my to-do list. I'd get a new app - write down everything I had to do, and then be stuck. Our brains get overwhelmed as soon as we have more than seven things to choose from.

Break Down the List - Prioritising and Organising Tasks:

So I started to break down my to-do list into sections, such as high, medium and low priority. I split these into work, home, person, growth... then mentally isolate periods to work down each list.

Will this work for you? Maybe, please try it!!

But if it doesn't don't beat yourself up. Instead, take a step back and mindfully as yourself a few questions:

  • Why isn't this going the way I want?
  • Am I listening to myself?
  • How can I change my approach?

This applies to anything you're struggling with. Stop listening to others and start listening to yourself.

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