What to do when the things you’re doing aren’t on your to-do list

I had such a productive afternoon. I called people I needed to call, I sent emails right and left, I researched things I needed to research. And yet, at one point, I’d only crossed one thing off my to-do list. I bet you’ve experienced something similar if you keep to-do lists. It can feel depressing, because it feels like you’re treading water.

But I look at it a little differently. It is the feeling of productivity itself that is fulfilling for me, the feeling that I’m getting important things done. The to-do list is just a reminder of some of those things. So, this phenomenon of doing important things which aren’t on the list is more an indication of my list’s inadequacy than an indictment of my time management. I should make a better list next time. It’s a much more positive way to look at things.

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