A simple productivity weapon by Andreessen: The anti-to-do list

We all have felt it. We know how frustrating it is to realize we’ve only striked out a couple of items from our never ending to-do lists. We’ve wondered whether clearing out our to-do lists would ever be possible. While today’s powerful productivity apps may help streamline and organize tasks, they certainly don’t solve our problem. Instead of fixating on the things we haven’t finished, what if we focus on the tasks we have achieved throughout the day? We now can with the concept of the anti-to-do list.

The anti-to-do list is a simple productivity tool, a list on which you record things you have achieved throughout the day. No matter what that thing may be, and whether or not they were achieved intentionally, you record it as an achievement. Marc Andreessen, a co-founder and a general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, came up with this system to measure productivity through these smaller steps instead of obsessing over the completion of the to-do list.

“Just like how you get a little rush by crossing something off your to-do list, the Anti-To-Do List goes even further and suggests that you actually write the items down fresh, and write all the additional tasks you end up accomplishing which weren’t necessarily on your to-do list.”

Soo Kyung Bae, a 22 year old industrial design student, tried out this concept for herself. By writing everything that she did down, Soo Kyung became more aware of what she was accomplishing throughout the day. She felt a sense of achievement as well as motivation to continue being productive as she saw her list grow. The positivity she felt from getting things done fueled her to plan for the next day to be just as productive. Soo Kyung also liked looking back on her accomplishments to see what went well, what could have been better, and to evaluate how she had done so far. By reflecting on her days, she was able to make everyday the best that she could and learn how to become more efficient.

“I experience a sense of achievement when I see the increasing list of the things I’ve done — this motivates me to continue being productive.”

After witnessing the power of the anti-to-do list ourselves, we thought — “What if we created an app that checked in with you throughout the day and helped you adopt this simple productivity trick?”. That became the birth of Aura, your digital companion. Aura takes the anti-to-do list and transforms it into a seamless cycle of productivity and positivity in your daily life. It reminds you to define your focus of the day, identify a few tasks to get done, note your achievements, and prepare for the next day.

“It’s made a real difference for my feeling of productivity, since a lot of the time I used to have that “where did the day go?” feeling without being able to remember what I did. Now I look at my Anti-To-Do List and feel great about all the things I got done.”

We’d love to invite you to try out Aura in private beta at auratech.io.

Learn more about the anti to-do list through this 3 minute read by Joel Gascoigne: https://open.buffer.com/anti-to-do-list/