This concise, to-the-point book shows how to tame the time-management beast known as the "to-do" list -- by creating better, more focused to-do lists.
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our to-do list. We need a to-do list to keep track of important things, but hate watching that list grow from a few items to an ever-growing list of appointments and tasks.
S.J. Scott, one of the top Kindle ebook authors on productivity and habits, offers a solution in “To-Do List Makeover: A Simple Guide to Getting the Most Important Things Done.”
Unlike other time management gurus, Scott argues that the problem is not the to-do list (for the most part). The problem is the way we do to-do lists.
About the Book
Scott argues that we have the best of intentions when starting a to-do list. Those good intentions turn into a pile of appointments, deadlines, and reminders that quickly become a playground for our procrastination. Instead of looking at the to-do list, we blame ourselves.
In the “To-Do List Makeover,” the author asks readers to think about the items they are adding to their to-do list. When we add the task “Complete sales report,” are we really being specific about what we intend to do? Do we add more items to our to-do list than we have time to complete them? Are we really adding items that will make our day productive or is it just “busywork”?
Scott’s solution is to revamp the whole process. Instead of having just one unrestrained list, he argues for more structured lists tailored toward your specific goals. Through the book, he walks you through how to set these lists into an efficient procedure that will improve the way you add items to your to-do list. After this, the author takes a short detour to discuss how to battle obstacles and issues associated with implementing the to-do list.
In short, it’s a book about how to do to-do lists.
How is the Book Different?
This book will offer a novel approach to any people who are struggling under the weight of to-do lists. S.J. Scott attempts to confront the realities of trying to manage a to-do list in an unpredictable and unchanging world. He acknowledges that we have days where we can mark every item off the list. Other days we might only get one item scratched off (if we’re lucky). His book offers a framework for integrating the to-do list into your daily life rather than a necessary evil.
The book’s core solution to the “to-do list” problem may be its own stumbling block, however. Creating more focused lists will definitely help a reader pay more attention to the items they add to their to-do list. Creating more lists may also create more problems.
If readers are already having trouble maintaining one to-do list, maintaining more than one list can be a little confusing and intimidating. If you are an organization guru, then this will be perfect. If not, it may take a little time and patience to get used to.
Who Should Read This Book?
The book is an easy read for anyone, especially if you are intimidated by time management books.
The author walks you through each step of the framework that he offers readers to follow (with links and pictures along the way) in clear, straightforward language. Each chapter is short and designed for quick implementation, but packed with helpful insight, so that you get inspired and get moving.
The “To-Do List Makeover” is well suited for two kinds of people:
- the person in the office who is always complaining of “never having enough time,” and
- the manager or business owner who wants a quick idea for how to shave off time and stress in the planning process.
This book may not cure your procrastination totally, but it will give you ideas (or a different perspective, at least) about how to tackle your to-do list efficiently.
We purchased a copy of the book for this review — and it was well worth the modest cost.
About the Author
S.J. Scott. a productivity and self-improvement expert, has written multiple books on productivity and self-improvement through the power of changing just one habit at a time. He can be found at DevelopGoodHabits.com and on Twitter @habitsguy. The “To-Do List Makeover: A Simple Guide to Getting the Important Things Done” can be found on Amazon here.
I have to admit that I am quite fond of having a to-do list. But then, I learned that you don’t really have to pack it with too much. Sometimes, it is enough to just put the major tasks that you need to do and worry about the rest later.