Your To Do List May Be Longer Than You Think

to do list tattoo

I read a lot of books and articles on things like brain science, psychology, productivity, and memory. One thing that tends to come up often as I read is that the brain sees any incomplete task or goal as part of your to-do list. Even if you aren’t consciously thinking of it, anything that you have left undone lingers in the subconscious and will periodically torment you until it’s finished.

This applies to everything in your environment including unpaid bills, an unfinished presentation for work, unread books, a Tivo full of unwatched shows, or hobbies that you started but never did anything with. You may not have these things on your immediate to-do list (in fact, they may not


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4 Responses to Your To Do List May Be Longer Than You Think

  1. dave says:

    Never really thought of it this way, but it seems to make sense. I know I have a lot of those little things that I could do a better job of taking care of rather than procrastinating until it becomes such a stress that it forces me to do it. I think I need to set up a different trigger in my life for when these need to be taken care of rather than when it’s just so bad that there is no other option.

  2. I am horrible with procrastinating little tasks. The problem is that they always become bigger than they should be and it increases my stress level way too much.

  3. I try to write down longer-term things on my to-do list so that it’s on paper and out of my mind. I definitely agree that it’s better to deal with something or let it go, and I often let something “drop” off my to-do list if I haven’t touched it in a few weeks, realizing that it will never be a high enough priority for me to actually do it.

  4. Mr.CBB says:

    I used to make mental lists for years and to some extent I still do. Now I write down everything I can think of on a to-do list I created (free tool at my blog) and keep it on the refrigerator. It’s easier to remember when I see it written out but my mind is always adding to. I just have to remember to add to it. I just finally started reading a book I bought at a garage sale this past weekend. I just did it!

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