One of the challenges that many people have regarding their to-do list is that they have not broken down many of the items on the list sufficiently into doable actions. For example, ‘get car fixed’ does not clearly and easily identify what to do next (and is really a small project). Thus, when we look at this or a similar item on our list, we tend to skip past it because we realize that we actually need to spend some time thinking (and in this case, very little time) about the steps involved before we can identify the next action to take. And in the midst of a busy day, that can seem like too much time and effort (especially when we’re in ‘doing’ mode rather than ‘thinking’ mode). A more doable task would be to ‘locate contact details for garage’, followed by adding the following 2 tasks to your list, ‘call garage and make appointment to have car fixed’ and then ‘drop off car at garage’.
I’m always thankful to the folks over at LifeHacker for providing a steady diet of tips & tools for increasing productivity. In this post, they tackle this challenge and much more in how to make your to-do list doable.