To do lists: asynchronous and synchronous

Also known as lists and calendars.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I’ll let you decide what those are. But I will say that you need to be in control of the decision to write down a “to-do” item and either set aside time in the future to make it happen, or to merely write it down.

Hint: here is my bias. For me a to do list is just a bunch of stuff that has yet to make it onto a calendar. Note taking and to-do list making has its place, but odds are that illegible ink scribble should be calendared.

Other people give you deadlines, so why not give yourself some? Calendaring also a good way to discriminate between what you are actually doing and what you want to do. You calendar it, and when the time comes you have either done it nor not. A list of aspirations becomes tomorrow afternoons plans.

Here is the real test. When you finish this post in a few seconds, do you go and write “give to-do list items a time and date” on your to-do list, or do you calendar a time to calendar?

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