Step #2 – Don’t make “to-do” lists

My Reasoning

Nothing says “cluttered mind” like a bunch of Post-It™ it notes stuck to the desktop. I’m not talking about marking birthdays or vacation dates on your Kitchen Calendar. Nor am I referring to the friendly game of top-10 lists.

Hey guys, who is on your top 10 hottest girls in the world list!

I’m talking about hastily scribbled to-do lists on the edge of your morning newspaper to get you through the day. You are scribbling down check-lists because your mind is exhausted, not because you are busy.

What you need to do is go to bed earlier.

Making a daily to-do list will only cause you stress and worry. There’s a good chance that you won’t get some things checked off. And then you will feel like you failed. Because you did.


An Example

When I was a young man I got a job waiting tables on the terrace of the busiest squares in Amsterdam. I was covering drink orders for up to 20 tables at a time and running my ass off. After the second day the head barman took away my notepad and pencil and ordered me to just do it by memory.
For a few days some orders came back to the bar as “doubles” and a few tables probably got the wrong order. Mistakes were made. But within a week I could serve 20 tables simultaneously, and a lot fast than before when I was writing things down.
Faster service is more turnover, happier customers, more tips and, most importantly, I had less stress.

The Benefit

You Mind is the most powerful tool that you will ever own. Keep it sharp and rust free! It knows what you have to do and intuitively will make sure that you do the “truly” important things. To-do lists are a crutch for the mentally lame and weary. Stop using them and your memory will be running marathons in no time.