To Do List, Coffee – Drink, Desk, Plans, Goals, Note Pad


To-Do lists are one of the most commonly-touted productivity tools in the world. And there is a good reason for it.

The simple explanation is that you will always have a number of things to be done. To avoid forgetting, it is best to list them down then strike them off once done.

But how come the expected effectiveness never materializes?

Although several answers may be given to this question, e.g. it’s a matter of discipline, there is really something about this tool that facilitates the disappointment.

One survey by LinkedIn showed that only 11% of professionals finish all the tasks in their To-Do lists.

The truth is, there is something about To-Do lists that people are generally yet to understand. Sure enough, it is a productivity tool but for it to be useful, something somewhere must change in the way it is being used.

But why would it be popular yet a majority of those using it never benefit from it? Below are some reasons for this.


This will remain to be the biggest problem of all, and the reason is pretty simple. Life never happens exactly the way you plan. Something will always come up. And although that thing was never expected, it still has to be taken care of. Some common distractions are:

Impromptu meetings which were never in your schedule and were not communicated beforehand. If there was any communication, probably just five minutes before the meeting. This may be necessitated by an emergency or the boss saw the need to address an issue

Social media is one of the most enjoyable distractions around. Being social beings, nothing feels as good as having a chat with a friend. Or just updating yourself on their current status. You also get to broadcast your thoughts as well as see who your secret admirers are.

Too much office chatting has an effect that is similar to that of social media, only that this chatting is with people in the same place you are in. From office gossip to the weekend adventures, the topics can be as many as they can be interesting.

 Wrong planning

This is another major reason for the failing of To-Do lists. Planning is key in everything you do and when you don’t plan, things tend to go wrong rather quickly. This is inescapable and it’s a guarantee you will feel frustrated at the end of the day.

In an effort to achieve maximum productivity, you may have heard and followed the advice of separating work from life. This is a good advice, though not very practical. What is meant is that what happens at home stays at home and what happens at work stays at work. Use only one list.

When you set aside time for distractions, you are not planning to knowingly distract yourself. Plan for the unexpected.



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