Basically every post from Lifehacker and any other similar productivity porn site always seems to feature a new To-Do application. There are dozens to choose from, regardless of which platform you use.
Lifehacker's law: A new To-Do app list is released every 24 hours
In fact, it might be a good idea just to create a To-Do app to keep track of all these different To-Do apps. Simply off my head, I can think of Wunderlist, Microsoft To-Do, Apple Reminders, Remember the Milk and (the new player in the game) Google Tasks.
For a long time, I tried to maintain near-perfect digital To-Do lists, entering the information into the right fields. I failed miserably. Utterly and completely. Eventually, I simply gave up.
Turns out that the problem wasn't me being inefficient. Every single one of lists started as innocuous tools to assist me with my everyday life; but slowly changed into a never-ending list of thankless, soul-draining, zero-gratification, tedious exercises in simply making it shorter.
Like this article I found by Adam Johnstone says: My To-Do list was killing me
He nails it here(ironically in a list, as he says):
- Lists give the illusion of progress
- Lists give the illusion of accomplishment
- Lists make you feel guilty for not achieving these things
- Lists make you feel guilty for continually delaying certain items
- Lists make you feel guilty for not doing things you don’t want to be doing anyway
- Lists make you prioritise the wrong things
- Lists are inefficient (think of what you could do with all the time you spend maintaining your lists?)
- Lists suck the enjoyment out of activities, making most things feel like an obligation
- Lists don’t actually make you more organised long term
- Lists can close you off to spontaneity and exploration of things you didn’t plan for (let’s face it, it’s impossible to REALLY plan some things in life)
Because for anything that I was doing that really mattered, I didn't need a To-Do list to tell me to do them. If I did, I probably would've had other health issues to resolve before deciding which To-Do method works best for me.
Eventually, this collective list of tiny insurmountable weighs on you like a guillotine that grows heavier everyday. But are you using the right guillotine? What if you could find a new, lighter better guillotine that helps you get work done?
You only need a couple of things on your To-Do list - the little things that don't matter. This is why I still use sticky notes as my paper To-Do list. If you care about it, you will remember it anyways. Everything else is superfluous.
If you can't wake up everyday and use just your brain - 100% to come up with your tasks for the day; then you need to work on fixing that - I don't mean with an app, or another Lifehacker article. Figure out what matters to you, what motivates you and find out why it isn't eating you up enough for you to get it done. Fix that.
Tools will come and go, but your brain and gut will be there with you for the rest of your life. Learn to trust them. If you can't, train yourself until you can. Because if it matters, if it really matters, you'll remember to do it. And if you don't, well, maybe you'll get to it sometime soon. Or not. And that's cool too.