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The Results Curve: How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time

Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Not ready for a full blown to-do lists bailout, ok, read the 3rd law of usability!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 09:47 AM

time management tipsI am not going to leave this to-do lists bailout issue alone until I wrestle it to the ground. Until you agree with me that these to-do lists could very well be the barrier that is holding us back and that a fresh start is of utmost importance.

Yesterday, I described a full blown to-do lists bailout strategy. If you are not ready for the ultimate bailout, here is a milder version of a bailout that can still give you some great benefits.

This version follows Steve Krug's advice on how to enhance the usability of web pages and make them more effective (even not related to to-do lists, but quite applicable). In his book Don't Make Me Think, Steve Krug states his third law of usability as follows: "Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left."

I suggest that the same law applies to to-do lists. Applying Steve Krug's 3rd law of usability on to-do lists, would result in having about 25% of the original list. Not bad. I would even go a bit further. For those of you who have read my book or attended my workshop, you may have guessed where I am headed with this. I am going to suggest getting rid of 80% of the items on the to-do lists, and focusing on the core 20%. After all the 80/20 rule says, 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort.

Instead of getting busy with insignificant time management tips, or attempting at managing stress with inconsequential small steps, or getting really busy trying to get organized, it is far more impactful to address the root causes in our to-do lists. Cannot do the bailout, go for the 80/20!

Topics: time management tips, getting organized, managing stress