Why Don’t Millionaires Use To-Do-Lists

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Millionaires, Olympic athletes, and successful businessmen do not make to-do-lists; instead, they plan objectives. Below you will read why you should get rid of your list and how to do this.

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Do you really think that Richard Branson and Bill Gates create lists and prioritize, marking them A1, A2, B1, B2?

The study, which surveyed 200 billionaires, Olympic athletes, successful students and entrepreneurs, identified other methods of time management. And none of the respondents mentioned to-do-lists.

Here are three good reasons to abandon a to-do-list:

  • To-do-lists are not bound to time. If we have a long list of problems, we often choose the ones that can be done quickly, leaving long-term tasks for later. A research conducted by iDoneThis company showed that 41% of the enlisted items remain unfulfilled.
  • To-do-lists do not differentiate urgent and important tasks. The same principle works here. Firstly, we try to perform urgent tasks, ignoring important ones.
  • Lists cause stress. In psychology, this is called the Zeigarnik effect, when the unfinished task forces to always come back to it in your mind. It is not surprising that having made a great to-do-list and having fulfilled at least a half of it we feel confused for the rest of the day and cannot sleep at night.

Numerous surveys and studies have shown that successful and extremely productive people do not use lists; they live and work according to the calendar.

For example, we can mention Shannon Miller, an athlete, who won seven Olympic medals and was a member of the US gymnastics team from 1992 to 1996, and who now is a successful entrepreneur and author. In an interview, she said she had distributed her time between her family, household duties, school, trainings, competitions and other obligations, using a specific timetable. She had to prioritize. And she still uses a timetable, where every minute is taken into consideration.

Dave Kerpen, co-founder of two successful startups and a best-selling author of the New York Times, was asked about the secret of his productivity. He said he would never do anything not mentioned in his calendar. But if he writes something into his calendar, it will be done for sure. His timetable takes into consideration every 15 minutes of every single day; this time is used to hold meetings, to preview the materials, to write or do something else. Despite the fact that he arranges meetings with anyone who wants one, he leaves just one hour a week for this occupation.

Chris Ducker successfully combines the role of an entrepreneur, a bestselling author and the owner of a business podcast. What does he say about his secret of productivity?

He just adds everything in his schedule. And that is all. Everything that he does during the day is added to his schedule. Viewing social media for half an hour is indicated in the schedule, looking through the e-mails for 45 minutes is also written there, just as the sessions with a virtual team. If some occupation is not in the schedule, it will not be accomplished. That’s it.

If you choose to manage your life with the help of a schedule, here are a few key points.

Each event should last for 15 minutes

Adjust the duration of the event in your calendar – 15 minutes by default. If you use Google Calendar or Outlook calendar, the event is automatically expected to last for half an hour or an hour, but it is much better to divide your day into shorter intervals.

Productive people spend as much time as needed to do something. President and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, is known for spending very little time on meeting with colleagues – just about five minutes.

If you are automatically given 15 minutes to complete each task, you realize that much more can be done during one day.

First, determine the time for the most important things

Do not let yourself mindlessly fill the calendar with any matters that arise during the day. Prioritize and define the time period for this or that occupation to be fulfilled. This period should not decrease, and the occupation should not be canceled whatever happens.

And do not forget to find time for such important activities as sports, relationships and anything that makes your life a complete thing.

Plan everything

Instead of checking email or social networks several times a day, plan your day and adjust the plan. Instead of writing “call my sister” in your to-do-list, plan an event in your calendar or even determine the time at which you will answer the phone calls each night.

And remember that what is planned should be done.

Do you use daily plans?

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