Why to-do lists don’t work (Wired.com)

from wired.com


Ah, yes, the eternal search for more productivity by downloading apps and other tools that “promise to boost your productivity!” How could you not? These (mostly) free apps and click-bait make it sound super-easy!


Use our checklist app! This is just like “Getting things done, but modern!” Try our technique; just $14.99 for the book that explains our system! Never be unproductive again!


Read the article. Yes, it is on the longer side, and it will be 10 minutes you won’t be getting something done.

But, you’re already here wasting time reading my blog. Whatever you were trying to get done, you were already unproductive. Sorry.

Here’s the crux of the article…

Clive Thompson says it much better than I will, so go read his article above in Wired.com. I’ll just say: apps won’t create more time, and our present selves overpromise what our future selves might be willing to do. You are your own worst enemy.

Every to-do list is a midlife crisis of unfulfilled promise. Winnowing away things you’ll never do in a weekly review is crucial, yet we dread it for what it says about the boundaries of existence. Our fragile psyches find it easier to build up a list of shame, freak out, and flee.

Clive Thompson in wired.com


Here’s my take: pomodoro or nothing

My take on the whole productivity thing? Pomodoro technique. I wrote about it in a this blog in 2017 and I still use it as my primary productivity tool. Any time I have protected time in my schedule, as little as 30 minutes, but better if it is a 2 hours or longer, I break out my Focus Keeper app, a pencil and yellow pad to park distracting ideas, and get down to serious business.

CMIO’s take? Here! Try my app! Here’s my idea, behind my paywall! Kidding. Pomodoro technique guys. Let’s get to work. (ironic – see what I just did there?)

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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