Marissa Mayer Explains Why Having To-Dos Is Better than Finishing Them
Most of us stress out about cleaning off our to-do lists, and that's natural. After all, why jot it down if you didn't want to get it done, right? Marissa Mayer, however, Yahoo's CEO and former Google executive, explains that sometimes it's making the list and prioritizing it that's important-not finishing.
Granted, not all of us have the same kind of workload that someone like Mayer likely has, but that doesn't make our to-dos just as important to us and our lives as hers are to her and Yahoo as a company. She explains something we've mentioned in passing before, that priority is important for your to-do list-sometimes more important than the to-dos. From an interview that Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff held with Mayer in November:
She said, 'Look, I just make a to-do list every day in priority order from most important to least important and celebrate the fact that I'd never get to the bottom of it, because if I did, I would have spent a bunch of time doing relatively unimportant things.'
I thought that was really profound; a lot of people say, 'Gosh, I'd never get it all done', and when they see all the work they could never get done, they get really overwhelmed by it. But the other thing you could do is just embrace it.
Our friends at Lifehacker Australia brought the interview to our attention, and they note that while crossing off a completed task is great, deleting something from your to-do list because it just isn't worth doing or isn't important is something to be celebrated too. That's why prioritizing your to-dos is important: It helps you separate the things you have to do from the rest, and shows you where you should focus your energies. If it seems like everything is important
Photo by Giorgio Montersino.