Jewish Journal


To-Do or Not To-Do Lists?

by Samira Asemanfar

November 1, 2011 | 6:44 pm

To-Do List

Often people argue about the value of to-do lists. I hope my post gives you clarity on the importance of organization and creating proper to-do lists.

Some people think…
To-Do Lists = Waste of Time.
To-Do Lists = More Important Than Brushing My Teeth.
To-Do Lists? Wish I Could Be Good At That Sort of Thing.

Personally, my to-do list makes me a better manager, business woman, friend, partner, daughter, and now blogger (I already have a list of topics I want to share with the world).  I’m here to convince you to get your act together. Here is my perspective:

1. Your focus is not equipped to consider your daily actions (micro) and your big picture goals (macro) at the same time. Do yourself a favor and write down how your daily actions will get you to your big picture goals and just follow!
2. Your emotions will often get the best of your focus. There will be days that you feel lazy or tired, amongst a variety of other emotions. If you have a list, you can follow it and take action, despite whatever else might be going on.
3. Sometimes people wait to be ‘motivated’ to do certain things and become intimidated by their own to do lists. Create an internal rule:  I must complete my to-do list despite my motivations and devotion. Often you need to take action to allow yourself to even discover the motivation you were waiting around for. One of my favorite Jewish concepts: Out of keva (structure of prayer) comes kavanah (intention, devotion, sincerity). Just like the sages worried that if a person did not regularly experience the kavanah, he or she might stop trying to connect with God all together… as a To-Do List Enthusiast, I worry that if you don’t create and regularly follow your to-do list you might not do as much as you are capable of in life.

My personal tips for creating and managing your to-do list:

-Create a quarterly macro list of intentions
-Based on your macro intentions, see what you can do monthly/ weekly/ daily
-Take inventory every night before you sleep so you know what your day will consist of in the morning. It’s easier to wake up and do than to wake up and think.
-Since you are committed to check off most of your to-do list each week, if you find yourself tired/ weak one day… check off the items that don’t require too much brain power.

Do you have your own thoughts and tips on to-do lists? Share them with me! samira[@]bellacures.com
For more tips on being effective check out an article I was quoted in: http://www.ehow.com/feature_12101525_7-habits-highly-effective-women.html

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Best piece of writing on why and how to make to-do lists i’ve ever read… seriously.

Comment by Samira on 11/02/11 at 1:20 am




After graduating from the Marshall School of Business at USC in 2004, Samira Asemanfar of Los Angeles California joined KPMG, LLP as an internal auditor and SOX compliance...

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