Summary of To-Do List Formula

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Concrete Examples
  • Well Structured
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Millions of people use to-do lists and understand their value. And yet, those with to-do lists complete only 41% of their tasks. Productivity expert Damon Zahariades reports, counterintuitively, that to-do lists often make you less productive, not more. The task management industry calls it the “productivity paradox.” To resolve this dilemma, consider Zahariades’s commonsense method. He imbues the task of making to-do lists with purpose. His book teaches you how to plan, create and work from practical to-do lists that encourage you and enable you to recognize, prioritize and complete multiple tasks. Although Zahariades sometimes says things are important, without saying why, or promises to get to something “later,” and hopes you find it, you can use his time-management best practices to create a to-do list that helps you to be more effective instead of driving you nuts.    

About the Author

Lifestyle management expert Damon Zahariades has written several time-management and productivity books, including The 30-Day Productivity Plan, The Art of Saying No and The Time-Chunking Method. He also produces the Art of Productivity blog.

 

Summary

The Need to Track 

Properly set up and used, to-do lists are a basic, effective task-management system. However, many people use ineffective task management strategies that don’t help them accomplish their daily chores. Counterintuitively, many to-do list systems sabotage overall productivity, a phenomenon called the “productivity paradox.” Inadequate systems waste your time, add to your frustration and create stress. And since they don’t help you complete your tasks on time, tasks mount up – which can be overwhelming.

Worthwhile Systems

Effective to-do list systems are out there. They aren’t perfect, but they do the job. A quality to-do list system can deliver eight benefits: 

  1. Giving you “control over your workday – Your to-do lists advise you which work you must do now and which you can do later.
  2. Letting you “meet your deadlines” – Prioritize your to-do lists so you focus on your most pressing...

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