Many people love to use to-do lists. There is something very satisfying about checking or crossing off an item when completed. It can also be used as a reference when a boss wants to know employees’ progress. However, are you doing the right tasks to satisfy your longer-term goals?
If you are someone who creates a to-do list without considering your long-term goals, you may start feeling as though you are spinning your wheels. You will be going through the motions of “doing something” which will make the process of not getting anywhere that much more frustrating.
To-do lists are a good idea but, you need to make sure they are in-line with your goals. Consider taking a top-down approach to your tasks rather than bottom-up. Start with your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in a few years from now? If you cannot answer that question, you need to do some soul-searching. Take the time to figure out what you want to accomplish at a high-level. Then, you can use that to break down into granular tasks. Finally, you use the mid-level tasks to help define the to-do list that you use daily.
People put off setting long-term goals because the time frame seems so far in the future. How can you be expected to know what is going to happen five to ten years from now? Try to choose the shorter-term time frames. You can measure what happens two weeks from now as it is going to happen soon.
Another problem with longer-term goals is one of commitment. People seem to think that when they declare a long-term goal, it becomes chiseled in stone, and they are required to commit to it. Hey, this is your list. Circumstances change, and It is ok to adjust your goals.
Once you have set your goals and have broken them down into sub-tasks, creating your to-do lists will follow easily, and they will get you closer to accomplishing your goals.