How to stop to-do lists ruining your life

This science article in The Guardian argues that in this age of beeping smartphones and information overload, to-do lists have never been more important.

Included are perspectives from neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin, Mount Saint Vincent University Professor Michelle Eskritt, University of Salford Professor Andy Miah, and New York University Professor of Psychology Peter Gollwitzer. Related research by these contributors includes Eskritt & Ma (2014) Intentional forgetting: Note-taking as a naturalistic example and Oettingen et al. (2015) Self-regulation of time management: Mental contrasting with implementation intentions.

The Guardian article concludes with a list to help people master their other to-do lists:

  1. Streamline your day-to-day tasks
  2. Don’t load your list with unachievable assignments
  3. Don’t use your to-do list as a memory aid
  4. Consider grouping your to-do lists by deadline
  5. Then pare down your “now” list
  6. Don’t keep your to-do list in your smart phone
  7. Or try an even more low-tech approach
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