Do you ever notice how, in our mad rush to clear up our 'to do' lists which are there to free up our time to get to the important stuff, we seem to lose time?
Messages go unread/unanswered; phone calls seem like impositions; even the simple task of grocery or errand runs goes by the wayside of ordering in or doing without.
Maybe because those lists are not really helping?
I heard a marvellous speaker the other day who pondered if the lists are not a futile attempt to control outside influences when we should be focused on simply controlling ourselves. What she meant was that we don't actually gain time by organizing what life is throwing at us; we gain time by choosing only to do what adds value.
One of my mentorees suggested that some menial tasks (like updating or rewriting a resume) has to first be understood as adding value or else it ends up on a list. True - so hopefully mentors can explain value for their suggestions! :-)
However, with time so precious, look at your list the way I'm viewing mine: If I could only do 3 things today, which three would my manager/team pick? Or my family? And which three would I choose? Tomorrow I might do one from everyone's list... today, I'm realizing my three reflect the best for most of them.