You have so much to do that you can't possibly remember it all. You'd better make a to-do list. That'll ensure that everything gets done. Plus, you've heard list-making boosts productivity (and you can use that in your life right about now).

But is a to-do list always the best solution when it comes to achieving your goals?

There's no perfect answer to this question, but there is a possibility that creating lengthy to-do lists is actually harming your productivity.

You see, a shorter to-do list is easy to follow. Checking off the items makes you feel good about yourself, and that boost keeps you motivated throughout the day.

An overlong to-do list, however, can create a problem. Too many of us set impossible goals for ourselves, listing far more items than it's possible to complete in a single day.

And when we fail to do the impossible, we become discouraged with ourselves. We freeze up.

Suddenly, it's a struggle to complete even the most menial item on that list. And the fewer items we check off, the worse our mood becomes. And as your mood worsens? Indifference strikes, forcing you to forget your goals in favor of temporary satisfaction.

The secret is to make sure you're setting realistic goals for yourself. Fill your to-do list with items you can cross off.

And if you have to move one or two of those items to tomorrow's list, so be it. But don't fill every single day with items you clearly don't have time for. You're setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, make sure you're setting achievable goals for yourself. Then you'll be able to meet them, and when you do, you'll be even more motivated to work toward your other goals.

That's how list-making works. Otherwise, you're better off without the to-do list altogether.