Farid Asadi

Growth, Experiment Driven.

Simple To-Do Lists, Nah!

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During my readings, a paper by Peter Gollwitzer on a self-regulation technique named Implementation Intentions caught my interest. I’ve been using it for a while and I’ve found it to be very effective.

Implementation intentions (by Peter Gollwitzer in 1999) are if-then plans that link situational cues (i.e., opportunities to act, critical moments) to responses that are effective in attaining goals.

It has been found to have a medium-to-large effect on goal achievement. Therefore, you may be able to significantly increase your daily goal attainment through this.

Gollwitzer argues that there are three main problems at the core of achieving goals:

  1. Remembering to act.
  2. Seizing an opportune moment to act.
  3. Second thoughts at the critical moment.

To-do lists, address only what one will do, while on the other hand, implementation intentions cover all three parts, assisting you in remembering the goal, as well as putting you in a good position to reach the goal.

Here are some examples of how you can implement this method:

Further information can be found in Implementation Intentions by Peter Gollwitzer’s paper.

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