“Got Done” Lists vs. “To Do” Lists? The Psychology of Productivity

It’s amazing how many leaders believe that managing their daily “to do” list is the key to success and fulfillment! Consider reviewing your “got done” list instead.  If you are looking for life/work balance and better results for your company, here are some great tips:


 Inside the Psychology of Productivity. Burned out? Can’t get it all done? The problem might be in your head.

By Leigh Buchanan Editor-at-large, Inc. magazine @LeighEBuchanan

You wake up with it in the morning and go to bed thinking about it at night: an ever-crushing load of emails, meetings, conference calls, and tasks that needed to get done yesterday.

Get to the Root of Your Procrastination

Procrastination is a particular problem for entrepreneurs, who often must tackle work in which they have no experience and no familiar starting point. And of course, when you are responsible for everything, there’s always something else you could be doing.

Focus on Progress, Not on To-Dospsychology-productivity_50543

To-do lists are daily reminders that you’re not cutting it. Just half of all to-do-list items are completed within a day, and 41 percent are never completed at all.

Bottom line: To-do lists are useful for organizing and prioritizing work. You should also maintain a “have done” list–or at least reflect on your accomplishments for a few minutes at the end of each day–to keep yourself motivated.

Beware of Time Thieves

Ownership a buzzword that, sadly, is rarely applied to people’s time. Workplace culture often requires that you sacrifice time for others, acting as a mentor or maintaining an open-door policy. The benefit to others’ productivity often comes at a cost to your own.

Bottom line: Be disciplined about the time you give to others. Employees and partners need your help, but mostly they need you to concentrate on what matters.

Be In-the-Moment With Everything You Do

Every businessperson knows that you have to distinguish, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, between the “important” and the “urgent.” Demands on your time don’t come with labels indicating their level of priority.

Mindfulness is increasingly held up as a way to improve both performance and decision making. Another advantage is that it concentrates attention on the qualitative, rather than quantitative, aspects of work–why am I doing this? instead of how much am I doing?

Read the entire article here

Checklists are essential for many things we do in life, particularly for professionals like pilots and surgeons ( Read “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande ) …and yes even software technology managers.

Contact Us so we can help you achieve your software “got done” list in the shortest possible time.

David Brian Ward

David Brian Ward
David Brian Ward’s career spans 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and leader of software innovation and implementation at firms large and small. Mr. Ward founded Telegraph Hill in 2010 with the goal of providing leading edge software development and technical management teams leveraging open source technologies to fast-growing companies grappling with technical, data and security debt.

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