Good at writing lists; bad at crossing things off them

I’ve spent a good deal of the last couple days fiddling around with two list applications (they’re both Air apps). The first one, MiniTask takes (as the name suggests) a minimalist approach to task lists. The second one, Simple Tasks V2 is much more complex and has a few of the features that I think would be useful in MiniTask. However Simple Tasks doesn’t appear to be in development anymore, and also unfortunately quite buggy (tasks don’t save sometimes, which kinda defeats the purpose).

The irony of all this is that instead of getting the things done on my list (which is currently just a basic text formatted list in an Outlook task item) I’ve been searching for the perfect way to store my to-do’s. Talk about procrastinating!!

So how do you go about actually getting things on your list done? Is it the way you break the lists down, or organise them, or only have three things in there at once, or plan your day to tackle items x, y and z…?

I’ve even got Getting Things Done on my bookshelf at the moment, but wouldn’t you know it I’ve been procrastinating about reading that too!!!

There’s actually an items on one of my lists (yes I’ve got more than one) to create a time management app. And you guessed it, that hasn’t been crossed off the list yet either.


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5 thoughts on “Good at writing lists; bad at crossing things off them”

  1. Hi,

    Time management is not a goal in itself and therefore it can not motivate you. It is a means to achieve your goals. I therefore wonder if you are clear about your goals in life? If not writing your private and professional goals down might be the right thing to leverage motivation.

    Besides you can start with small things. In my Time Management Master blog I published about 200 concrete time saving tips to gain an extra hour every day. These tips can be applied at home, at work or on the road.

    Every person is different and so are the tips. Please let me know if you find something that works for you – this keeps me motivated.



  2. Hi Nicolas,

    Thanks for dropping by and letting me know about your site. Looks like lots of interesting things to read there… if only I had time to do so! hehe, just kidding 😉

    I realise setting goals is one of the most motivating things you can do. There’s a few reasons why I seem to put off setting real goals (as opposed to jotting daily or weekly tasks and lists). The biggest one is the thought of not reaching the goal once it’s written down. Having concrete goals implies that you then need to act on them, which can give you a slightly sinking feeling when they’re not reached. The other major reason that I’m aware of is an inability to commit to things long term at the moment. I’m not sure when this will change, and I can actually see good reason for why I’m like this (and it’s kind of on purpose) at the moment.

    Anyways, bit of self analysis there – and I realise it’s not a good enough excuse to not set goals long term.

    I’ll try harder, I promise 🙂


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