The Never-Ending To-Do List: Why You Should Keep Going

job + productivity advice Nov 24, 2022
Woman sitting with pen and planner.  Large list behind her

You've been plugging away at your data science to-do list all week and you're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. There's just one problem: there are still a few items on the list that you haven't been able to get to. Does this mean you've failed? Absolutely not! In fact, it might mean the opposite.

✅ The undone items might not actually be as important as I originally thought?

✅ The undone items might be obscuring other items that are more important?

✅ The undone items might not be actionable enough. Not specific enough.

✅ The undone items might be something I could (or should) have delegate?

✅ This doesn’t mean I failed at the to-do list. It means I have room to get better at to-do lists.

There are a few possible explanations for why you haven't been able to check everything off your to-do list. It could be that the remaining items aren't as important as you originally thought. Or, it could be that they're obscuring other items that are more important. It could also be that they're not actionable enough—not specific enough. Lastly, it could be that they're something you could (or should) have delegated to someone else. 

Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: this doesn't mean you've failed at the to-do list. It simply means you have room to get better at to-do lists. And that's OK! We all have room for improvement. So, keep going and don't give up. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer.

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