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Three Work Tasks You Need To Cut From Your To-Do List Right Now

These are a few common to-do list distractions that get in the way of what you really need to get done

Source | | ART MARKMAN

Some days you get to work early, work nonstop, and head home without being able to figure out what you actually accomplished. Everything rushes past you in a blur of emails, meetings, and errands, and your to-do list remains more or less untouched. You’re always going to have a few workdays like this no matter what you do. But if they start happening regularly, you may have a problem on your hands.

If that’s the case, then it’s time to start looking for systematic failures, not just one-off fumbles. And ironically enough, the best place to look may be at your to-do list itself. What better record do you have of the tasks that you’re consistently failing to achieve? These are a few common to-do list items that might be getting in the way of your more important goals. If you can cut them out–even just for a day or two–you may be able to regain your footing.


Many of us add things to our mental or literal to-do lists that we don’t plan in advance–either because we don’t see them coming, or we don’t think they’ll take much time. Unsurprisingly, catching up on emails is one big offender in this category.

Some productivity experts suggest blocking out set periods of time for doing nothing but answering emails. But many of the same experts (myself included) recommend certain time periods away from email to work on other things.

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