Many people love to use to-do lists. Something is satisfying about checking off an item when completed. It can also be used as a reference when a boss wants to know employees’ progress. But, are you doing the right tasks to satisfy your longer-term goals?
If you are someone who creates a to-do list without considering your long-term goals, you may start feeling as though you aren’t progressing. Worse, you will be going through the motions of “doing something” which will make the process of not getting anywhere that much more frustrating.
To-do lists are a good idea. But, you need to make sure they are in-line with your goals. You should consider taking a top-down approach to your tasks rather than bottom-up. Start with your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in a few years from now? If you can’t answer that question, you need to do some soul-searching. Find what you want to accomplish at a high-level. Then, you can use that to break down into granular tasks. Finally, you use the mid-level tasks to help define the to-do list that you use daily.
People put off setting long-term goals because the time frame seems so far in the future. How can you be expected to know what’s going to happen five to ten years from now? It’s much easier to choose the shorter-term time frames. You can measure what happens two weeks from now as it’s going to happen soon.
Another problem with longer-term goals is one of commitment. People seem to believe that when they declare a long-term goal, you chisel it in stone, and they’re required to commit to it. However, circumstances change, and it’s ok to adjust your goals. Don’t be afraid to commit to goals for your future.
You may want to create a few long-term goals. Then, as you are working on what tasks it will take to accomplish those goals, you can decide which path makes the most sense. You can take into account both feasibility and costs.
When certain tasks become unattainable for one reason or another, be prepared to change the course of your path. In fact, if you can project these possibilities, you can put them on your list of goals.
Once you have set your goals and have broken them down into sub-tasks, creating your to-do lists will follow easily, and they will get you closer to accomplishing your goals.