Distinguishing to-do lists from could-do lists

Following up to “Don’t write your to-do list at the start of the day, write it at the end of the day“, “You are never going to get caught up“, and “What’s the #1 thing you should be doing right now?“.

To keep yourself focused on your current #1 priority, it’s useful to allow an outlet for ideas and anxieties that bubble up to your consciousness while working on your current #1.

Keep a “could-do” list nearby, and add items to it as they occur to you. For example, you could use the notepad on a mobile phone — in meetings, on walks, at dinner. It only takes a few moments, and after the idea is safely stored away, you can forget about it for a while and continue to attend to the main event.

Don’t confuse this with your “to-do list”, which is a short list of commitments that you’re going to do in the next 24 hours.

Your “could-do list” is the ore you pan for “to-do” gold.


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