Daily to-do lists are effective whether you dictate them into a thousand-dollar smartphone or scribble them on the back of a crusty old envelope. They’re a one-page instruction manual for success and they can inject you with a little hit of euphoria every time you scratch an item off the list.
In short, they’re one of the most perfect productivity tools ever created. But just like any other powerful tool, they can create more work than they’re worth if you misuse them. I learned this lesson recently when I took on a couple of extra tasks at work. They’re major tasks, and I have a narrow window in which to complete them.