Another approach to getting more done in less time is to rethink how you reprioritize your day – in particular how we craft our to-do lists. Tim Harford, author of Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, points to a study in the early 1980s that divided undergraduates into two groups: some were advised to set out monthly goals and study activities; others were told to plan activities and goals in much more detail, day by day.
While the researchers assumed that the well-structured daily plans would be most effective when it came to the execution of tasks, they were wrong: the detailed daily plans demotivated students. Harford argues that inevitable distractions often render the daily to-do list ineffective, while leaving room for improvisation in such a list can reap the best results.
37. The study in the early 1980s cited by Harford shows that .
A. students are hardly motivated by monthly goals
B. detailed plans may not be as fruitful as expected
C. distractions may actually increase efficiency
D. daily schedules are indispensable to studying