Think Better.
Accomplish More.

To Think List

A ‘To Think List’ simply is a collection of things you want to think about.

Before we dig deep into what that is all about, let me make a case for why there is a need to get into the habit of using ‘To Think Lists’.

So, let us take a look at what everyone of us is very familiar with: A To Do List.

Some of you may be using a sophisticated system for a To Do List and some of you may just be listing your to do items on a piece of paper. And, probably small percentage of you may simply maintain your to do list in your mind.

If you are like most people, I can predict that your “to do list” is overflowing almost on a daily basis. You have more tasks than you have time. Building a sophisticated system of to do lists is not completely helping because you just add more things into the system.

To find a solution to this problem, you have to ask a fundamental question to yourself:

What influences your To Do list?

The typical work cycle might look something like this:
1

Make a To Do List

2

Start checking off things in the list

3

Re-arrange spillover to do items for a future date

4

Go back to step 1 the next day

Your projects, their priorities and their design in relation to your competence and motivation will influence the following:
  • tick.png What is getting into the To Do list
  • tick.png What you like and don’t like about what is getting into the To Do list
  • tick.png How fast is the To Do list getting cleared
  • tick.png What is your feeling when things get cleared or remained undone in the To Do list
But there is one thing that plays a big role and that is:

Your Quality of Thinking

Only YOU can work on improving your quality of thinking

You meet and exceed people’s expectations based on your actions. Your quality of thinking definitely influences the actions you take. However, the quality of thinking is not easily visible to others. For instance, if you produce a report in the promised seven days, your client is happy. He or she won’t care whether you spent 140 hours in those seven days or you were able to get this done by spending four hours on one weekend morning. It’s not important to the client but it should be VERY important for you. In the latter case, your quality of thinking not only influenced the actions you took to produce the report but it also influenced your quality of life positively. In the former case, there was little life left for you think about the “quality of life.”

So, that should be a good enough incentive to improve your quality of your thinking.

How can you UPGRADE
the quality of your thinking?

Presenting the tool that will get
you there super fast:

The importance of To Do List is understandable because of the importance of getting something done. As we discussed, quality of thinking deeply influences your quality of actions. So, it makes logical sense to create a ‘To Think List’. The only way you get better at something is via practice. So, you get better at thinking by… well, thinking!

I know that you are swamped with catching up on your To Do list so you might be hesitant to add one more thing to do – to create a ‘To Think List;. To make things complicated, most of your education was all about doing well. Your curriculum didn’t include even a few topics on thinking well. It was left for you to figure that out.

All I can say is that your past thinking patterns got you to where you are today. You are smart enough to know that upgrading those thinking patterns will take you to a better place. Practicing to create and act on ‘To Think Lists’ will get you on the thinking upgrade path – fast!

The way I have used ‘To Think List’ is like the way I use a To Do List. I will put items on it that I have to think about in the future. Two times a week, I have a “Meet With Me” time on my calendar where I will have the ‘To Think List’ in front of me. I process the list items one by one. The outcome of processing an item on a ‘To Think List’ might result in new action items or new items on ‘To Think List’ for a future date.

Then, I rinse and repeat.

Summary

If To Do Lists can improve your productivity directly, ‘To Think Lists’ can improve your quality of thinking (and hence improve your productivity, indirectly).

Rajesh Setty

About the Creator

Rajesh Setty is an entrepreneur, author and teacher based in Silicon Valley.
Rajesh has co-founded multiple startups in US and in India. He has written and
published fifteen books so far with his first book being published when he was
thirteen years old. Rajesh maintains a blog with close to 2,000 blog posts. His
articles have been published on Huffington Post, Venturebeat, sandhill.com,
YourStory.com and more.

Rajesh has taught over a thousand entrepreneurs on how to bring their ideas to
life at the Founder Institute.

Rajesh created and published Napkinsights (insights that can fit on the back of a
paper napkin) for years before using them as foundational elements in the
ThinkBook series of books.

You can read more about him at www.rajeshsetty.com

Download the ‘To Think list’ here: