Aren’t we all perfectly on top of our tasks and lists by now?

Hasn’t technology fixed it all already?

It hasn’t? Why not?

I thought we’ve gotten pretty good with this whole AI-Internet-Computer thingy.


When we come home at the end of the day, things only partially done, morning ambitions laughably untouched, one more list can make us scream.

The trouble isn’t that we haven’t mastered the technology.

It’s that these lists and tasks are a part of us.

Ideas and emotions come to us in waves, often many at once, while we can only do one thing at a time. With vessels of words we store our intentions, often with the fantasy that we might actually get to them.

And when we don’t, we discover yet another indictment of our inabilities to be more productive, more efficient, and somehow a better human being.

But our true failure is that we haven’t acknowledged our limitations as human beings.

At least two components that demand consideration are:

  1. Working memory
  2. Agency

We can only hold so much in mind at once. When we curse ourselves for forgetting something, we ignore this limitation. When we create lists that go well beyond what we can think through in a few moments, we effectively destroy their utility.

We can only decide in the moment. When we yell at our future selves, “Do homework!” in all its variations, Future You senses the arm twists waiting within our words. Of course we’d prefer to avoid them.

In this way, the work of work is still ours. What supports me will be different than what supports you. The onus for respect of agency and working memory for our future selves is on us.

Technology is still what it has always been: a tool to help our visions find fruition, not the creator of those visions themselves.

– Kourosh

PS Lists, Tasks, and Portals – Module 8 of Waves of Focus: Guiding a Wandering Mind┬áis coming soon. From the emotional work through the technical, learn the fundamentals of storing your ideas, so you can more confidently set matters aside, engage well, and get to the places you want to be.