When we build our daily todo list we pretend to live in a vacuum where:
- We don’t need to eat
- We don’t take a (coffee) break
- Never experience low energy
- No one ever calls/texts/IMs us and interrupts our current work
- No manager drops by and puts something new, important and urgent on our pile
- There are never crisis situations with a customer
Sven from Simplicity is bliss writes about his experiences with daily to do list. He also shares some tips on how to make the daily list a bit better.
In my experience the daily list comes very handy, provided it’s short, which means maximum 5 items. This is just a base line, things I really have to do. Setting a list with just 5 items helps me make sure I can progress some projects and at the same time gives me enough flexibility to get engaged in other things throughout the day without feeling guilty about my to-do list.
Just this week I took a more conscious look at what I wanted to achieve and the combination of daily to do list and saying “no” to few things yielded great results!
As follow up there is also an interesting HBR post on how you can leverage calendar over the to-do list. “To-Do Lists Don’t Work”