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Take this off your to-do list

📝 Today’s tip: Audit your to-do list and cut the things you know you’ll never do.

There’s that one thing you still have to do: that task on your to-do list that makes you wince every time you remember it. It’s not that the task in itself is all that terrible — it’s just that you’ve put it off for so long that it now triggers a deep sense of shame. “Why can’t I just send that email/complete my expense report/drop off those books to my friend across the city?” you wonder. “What’s wrong with me?”

Robert Wiblin calls these “Ugh” tasks, a term adapted from an explanation in the online community LessWrong. While almost everyone experiences them, they can give you low-grade dread for weeks.

So what should you do if you have one that’s been lingering? Well, you might outsource the task or wait for a sudden burst of motivation. But a better solution might be to simply drop it, responsibly. Wiblin explains: “By the time something is an ‘Ugh’ task, it’s no longer the most productive thing you could be doing, especially relative to the willpower it will now require.”

📚 More from Forge on prioritizing your tasks:

This Is What a Perfect To-Do List Looks Like

A Better To-Do List, According to a Scrum Master

Cap Your To-Do List at Three Things Every Day

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