Overestimating What Can Be Done in a Day

"Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years."

Bill Gates

Every evening I make a todo list of what I want to achieve the next day. It’s called “Today”. It includes my work, my personal life, fitness, reading and other bits.

For as long as I can remember I have never completed the entire list.

Every single evening I postponed tasks and convinced myself they would be done tomorrow.

It got pretty ridiculous.

Some tasks sat on my “Today” list for weeks.

The result was a constant feeling that I was never doing enough. The days never felt successful. I found it hard to switch off because of so many open loops.

I push myself very hard in my personal life and in my business. I have high expectations of myself, but this was too much. It was having a negative effect.

One simple change made a world of difference.

I now only put on my “Today” list things that I absolutely have to do in this 24 hours. The things that I absolutely must do or the world will end.

Everything else is on a separate project todo list and prioritised. I start them only after doing my Today list.

Organising yourself is a personal thing. My only recommendation for you is to keep reading, keep tweaking and keep improving how you do things.

I now achieve everything on my Today list and it feels good. I am motivated to work on the other tasks and am making more of my time.

Taking a step back and looking closely at our old habits can be a quick way to be better.

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3 Responses

    1. Hey Steve, bit of a delayed response.. but yes I have read that book, it has great insights on this topic.

  1. You should check Todoist, it is a really great app to avoid the frustration you have experienced! I was feeling the same and it has changed my life (or at least my perception of it).
    The free version should be more than enough for most people.

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