Improve your to-do lists

To-do lists are great. Except, they are not.

In theory, to-do lists are great because they remind us of the things we need to do. To improve to-do lists you need to manage time and importance/urgency.

🕑 Time. To-do lists do not consider time, they just state what you have to do. It’s easy to forget (or consciously skip) your visit to the gym when you didn’t set a specific time for it or you don’t get reminded in time. Of course, you could use a reminder app to remind you of these things. However, reminder apps don’t consider other to-dos and appointments. If you have your to-do or reminder app remind you every single day at 8pm to do yoga, it’s hard to really practice yoga when you are having dinner with your in-laws — doing the downward facing dog in front of them would be awkward, right?

👆Importance & Urgency. Some to-dos are more important or urgent than others. Quick example: Drinking coffee? Very important, very urgent. That’s something you need to do right away (more espresso less depresso). Doing your tax declaration? Meh. Not so urgent. You can do that next week.

How can we improve our to-do lists? 🤔

We need to get our priorities straight. We shouldn’t waste time on things that are not a must-do. If we can outsource or delegate something to somebody else, let’s do that. Ok, that was already a spoiler, sorry for that. Let’s take a step back. You might have heard of the Eisenhower Matrix

This Matrix evaluates to-dos along two axes: importance and urgency.

  • If a to-do is both important and urgent, you should do that right away — ideally on the same day.
  • If it is important but less urgent, schedule it. Put it into your calendar and do it in the next few days.
  • When it is urgent but less important, delegate the to-do to other people who have more time at hand. But make sure this person really follows through.
  • If something is neither important nor urgent, don’t do it at all. Stop wasting time on things like that.
Eisenhower Matrix to improve your to-do list
https://jamesclear.com/eisenhower-box

You are already using the most powerful tool 🗓

We need to get a better overview over all of our to-dos  We can do this by making use of calendars. A to-do list doesn’t fulfill its purpose if you don’t see it. Calendars not only serve as visual cues to remind us of the to-dos we need to do, but they can also tell us in which order to do them. 

If you are using an analog calendar, hang it somewhere prominent. Write the most important to-dos down on your calendar. Make sure you regularly check it and tick the things you have already accomplished. 

If you are using a digital calendar, make sure you check it on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your phone’s pre-installed calendar or an app that you downloaded, as long as it’s intuitive for and physically appealing to you. If you use a digital calendar, you want to set reminders for your to-dos  That’s why calendars are so much better than mere to-do lists: they provide a better overview; date, time, and other events are considered; and you can set reminders and have many other options and settings. So you already possess the most powerful tool.

Get your personal butler who manages your to-do list 💁‍♂️

There are many calendar and scheduling apps out there. Which one to use depends on your individual needs and wants. There is no single perfect solution for every person. But we can recommend one app, in particular. An app that is special because it’s intelligent. No, it didn’t pass an IQ test, it’s just based on artificial intelligence. It’s called Butleroy — your personal Butler, or assistant.  

It’s not your average to-do list. It solves both problems that we talked about earlier. It considers the urgency and importance of a to-do and schedules the to-do accordingly. Then, it also shows the to-do in your calendar to so you see at a glance what’s going on in your day. It also takes your other obligations and appointments into account. You can integrate Apple, Google, Microsoft, Todoist, Trello and more. It won’t schedule your yoga practice for when you will be having dinner with your in-laws. (Unless you want to do yoga with them, but who would do such a thing?)

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