I’ve kept an electronic to-do list for years now, and every day, like clockwork, I find myself swiping the majority of the tasks in that day’s agenda to reschedule them for the next day. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, and essential tasks habitually end up getting moved from one day to the next and the next and the next.
Then, a while back I watched a video of someone who advocated a “calendar-based” lifestyle in which rather than creating never-ending to-do lists, everything is scheduled on the calendar.
The idea here is that the reason we fail to tick off all the items on our to-do list is that we underestimate how long it takes us to perform tasks. We add 25 items to our list when in reality, it’s only physically possible for us to complete 11 of them. Moreover, when every hour is scheduled on a calendar — including breaks, relaxation, and meals — there is less chance of us getting distracted or forgetting to do something.
I did a bit more research into this, and as it turns out, many productivity folks use and advocate a calendar-based productivity system rather than a to-do list based one. The more I read about this, the more it made sense to me, so I decided to give it a try myself in 2019. I spent a good portion of a day creating a workable schedule though I imagine it will go through several iterations until I tweak it enough that it works.
What’s important here is that every single item that I want to accomplish during the day is on my calendar and that every one of those items has a notification set to it so that I’ll be alerted when it’s time to switch gears. To start out with, I set the default notification to 5 minutes for tasks and 30 minutes for appointments.
I’m looking forward to delving into this system and seeing whether it’ll help me to be more productive. Perhaps 2019 will be the year when I’ll retire my not-so-trusty to-do list application.
Stay tuned for further developments.