In a single day there were blog posts in my feed about how lists of writing ideas was counterproductive and how successful people don’t use to do lists.

Cool. Way to shame those who need to create and work from such lists in order to maintain their focus and productivity.

Everyone has their own system. You might use Wunderlist, or Evernote or some other app to manage your ideas, list of action items or other reminders. You might use a bullet journal or other paper-based system.

Or you might not need anything.

It depends on what works for you.

My problem is not with the advice on how to do or not do something. It’s in the framing, that if you aspire to emulate someone who’s held up as being “successful” you must not do this one thing.

It’s just as dangerous and damaging to people as the various posts and lists of things you must do in order to be like some successful person.

There’s a chance such advice inspires them and unlocks something in them that helps them achieve greatness in some respect. On the other hand, it could damage their productivity because it’s so unnatural to them that it never had a chance of working.

Most all these articles assume all readers are free of issues that sometimes get in the way of what they want to do. They assume the reader doesn’t have any sort of attention deficit, anxiety or other issue that makes some tactics like list making, idea recording or other memory/productivity hack an essential part of their day.

Don’t get bogged down by these lists. When something clearly doesn’t speak to you or your situation, put it out of your mind.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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