Today is my birthday. I’m getting very little done because . . . well, because it’s my birthday! But on other days I don’t really have an excuse.

I use software to keep me on track, to track my time, and to keep me from forgetting things. I’ve carried a PDA of one sort or another since 1994 (a Sharp Zaurus), and because I was one of those people who wrote about technology trends was sent and started using a Palm Pilot about a month before they hit the street in the summer of 1996. Of course, I’ve been using a Droid since late last year.

But when it comes to managing the ever-growing-and-changing list of stuff I need to do every day, I’m as guilty as anyone of recycling; and this isn’t the kind of recycling that’s good for the environment or anything else.

I have a list of stuff that shows up every time I flip to my To-Do view in Outlook. It’s all neatly categorized, sorted either by importance or date depending on my mood, and even includes alarms that alert me to certain things. This system is imperfect because there’s no way to make my Outlook To-Do list work on an Android device, but I stick with it because I like having everything in one place when I’m at a computer.

But there’s a much bigger flaw in the system, and that flaw is . . . me.

I can look at my To-Do list as many times as I like, but when there are fifteen or twenty ever-changing things that need to be done staring me in the face I spend as much time re-categorizing as I do getting the to-do items done. Multi-tasking, as I’ve pointed out before, is just not efficient.

Today’s lesson in productivity, business change and discipline comes from a new service that changes the way your to-do items work. To→done is a web site where you enter all your to-do items, provide a few details, and then simply obey. When To→done tells you that you have something to do, you . . . do it.

It won’t always work, of course, and ultimately you can misuse To→done the same way so many of us misuse other reminder-based systems, but if you’re constantly in a state of “not sure what to do next”, To→done could be your ticket to better productivity.

And that’s a business change we can all use.

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