Put It On Your List So You Can Forget About It

Why You Should Capture Any and All Tasks

Put it on your list

Are you constantly trying to remember what you need to do?

That’s what your todo list is for… to remember, so you don’t have to. (You do have a list, right?)

It’s purpose is to capture all the tasks that you need to do. Nothing too big or too small can be on your list.

You should capture all of your todos to your list.

Always Put It On Your List

I am a big believer that you should keep any and all todos on your list.

It doesn’t matter how important it is (you will forget it), or how mundane (you’ll still forget it).

Let your list keep track of your tasks, so that you can forget about them and get them off your mind.

People are often afraid to add things to their list.

They don’t want their list to be too long. Or they are concerned that they will be obligated to do it if they write it down.

Neither of these are valid. Your can focus on just the top few items on your list. And you can simply cross off items that are not important or no longer relevant.

Here are a few tips to help you capture all your tasks to your list:

  • Let Your List Remember – Your brain can only remember so many details at once. Let your list remember, so you don’t have to. It’s actually a great feeling when your list reminds you of something you forgot. (That means it’s doing its job!)
  • Concentrate on the Task at Hand – Capture tasks to your list so that you can stay focused on what you are doing now. Don’t let every task that arises be an interruption, put it on your list to address later.
  • Capture Big and Small – It doesn’t matter if it is your #1 task or just a menial chore. Put it on your list.
  • Prioritize Your List – Putting everything on your list is powerful because it allows you to see all your tasks in one place. This lets you prioritize the order of your list and make smart decisions about what task to do next.

Your Todo List is Your Best Friend

Let your todo list work for you. It can take loads of work off your mind.

As well, it can remind you what you need to do and what is most important.

So, the next time a task or todo pops up, make sure you capture it to your todo list.

Question: Do you add everything you need to do to your todo list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I no longer keep a list. I use yellow JR Legal Pads and use one sheet per task.

    This allows me to prioritize on the fly without crossing off and rearranging a single list.

    When I have a task to delegate, I hand them the yellow sheet so it’s no longer on my plate. And my coworkers find that they appreciate the physical reminder, with relevant notes, instead of the usual buried email.

    In this way I can cluster related tasks and find focus even when it’s tempting to be pulled in different directions.

    My goal is to leave work each day with an empty desk.

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  • HomemakersDaily

    I absolutely agree. I have ADHD so I have millions of things swirling through my head. If I don’t write tasks down so I can get them OUT of my head, my head will explode. Seriously – I drive myself crazy when I don’t write things down because then it’s all swimming around in my head. And like you said, I write down anything and everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny task – it has to go on the list for later so I can get it out of my head.

  • HomemakersDaily

    Interesting idea, Andy Mitchell.

  • Bruce

    Craig, you may a great point here. Writing down ideas, possible tasks etc is one of the greatest insights I learned from reading “Getting Things Done.” It is a foundational practice that enables so much more productivity and creative output.

  • Kristy Boxberger

    Capture is more and more important as I age. I swear that I think of something one minute and it is GONE the next minute!

  • Cellia Northbrook

    I think that planning in advance is a great idea! I sit down in front of my computer every Sunday morning and come up with a plan for a following week. Then I update my KanbanTool board and spend the rest of the following week. I’ve been already doing it for a month and I find this habit very useful, cause I don’t have to wonder what should I do, I just look at my board and get to work. 😉