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Most business owners have to do lists.

  • Maybe you have your favorite planner…
  • Or use post-it notes
  • or even use a project management program.

But there are a couple of problems with a to do list.  Yes, you may get some items done.  But it’s not the most effective way.

There are so many reasons that they aren’t effective as is – and I’m going to tell you 3 reasons that to do lists don’t help you to be productive and what to do instead.



1. Best Working Hours

time managemenet

Most of us have tasks that we do better at specific times of day.

Some people write really well in the morning – they feel fresh. Others can’t write in the morning as they’re still waking up.  Some people are creative in the morning…others aren’t.

But if you’re to do list is just whatever came into your head first – you may assign a writing task when you’re not at your most creative.

From now on I want you to observe yourself and see when you are best at writing or best at working on numbers.

2. Energy Levels

Lists are good – but only if they’re used effectively.  Our energy levels fluctuate during the day.  Each person is different.  Therefore, you must try tasks at different times of the day to see what works best for you.

But again, if you just have a list – who knows if you’re doing the right tasks at the right time.

Instead try to work with your body and brain.

Assign the majority of your important tasks when you have more energy.

3. Efficiency

Strict to do lists don’t work because they are not efficient.

Research has found that when we do similar tasks in a row – we’re more efficient.

Have you ever felt that feeling of flow? That’s your brain working efficiently.

For instance, if you do an invoice and then switch to writing an email and switch back to creating an invoice – those tasks use different parts of your brain.

Scientists have found that it can take up to 20 minutes to refocus on a new type of task.

Instead – you need to do 3 invoices in a row before switching to a different type of task.

So instead, I want you to batch similar tasks together.

You can write your to-do list – but you must ensure that you go back and then group similar tasks together.


So go and look at your to do list – and start rearranging it keeping in mind

  1. Your energy levels throughout the day;
  2. When you perform certain tasks best and
  3. Batch similar tasks together for productivity.

Come back and let me know what you found!

What to do instead? Redesign Your Time

If you use a time block system – you can take into account your energy levels and the best time to do specific tasks.

And by grouping like tasks together, you’re more efficient – and you can find out when you do these types of tasks at what time of day.

Need help creating a time block schedule?

Check out my free guide – “Redesign Your Time Blueprint”


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