There are people out there who think To Do Lists don’t work! They must be kidding right? But, it’s easy to self sabotage the To Do List and feel like it’s not working for you.
We all think there simply isn't enough time to get everything done on that pesky To Do List. But what if we could find a way to get a bit more time or trick our brains into thinking we have more time?
How, you say? Keep reading and you'll find out our little secrets to knocking over your to do list in a day
Shorten the list.
Stop adding EVERYTHING to the to do list. Just stop it right now. Rome wasn't built in a day, and you won't get everything you need to do done in a day either.
Only add the things that MUST be done that day. For example, pay bills or return forms that are due (or overdue!).
Limit this to 3 must be done today things.
If you need a challenge, add only 1 task that could be done if all the number 1 priority things are completed, but need to be done in the near future. For example, buy a present for a birthday party your kid is attending next weekend.
Stop including routine tasks on your to do list.
Routines are a series of tasks that we learn to implement and run on autopilot. While it might feel good to be able to cross these things off easily, they ultimately crowd your to do list, and leave you feeling overwhelmed before you've even begun.
If need help to keep on top of your daily routines, use a habit tracker or goal chart to set these out and tick off as you go. Treating these as separate things with their own dedicated planners will help cement that these are two different concepts. Our magnetic goal chart may be useful for helping manage your routines.
Separate to dos and other ‘stuff’
Now, any serious A type planner person will tell you that you must write down EVERYTHING and have a plan for everything. We don't disagree, but it's about how you do this.
We suggest you create a ‘Dump List’. This can include ideas, tasks, wish list items, whatever you like. You can do this on your phone, any app will do but I’m a fan of Google Keep notes, or use a paper journal or our magnetic note planner.
You can categorise your ideas in a way that makes sense to you to easily find and follow up those ideas, or simply leave the dump list as is.
Refer to the dump list when you’re writing up your to do list for the day pick out your to dos, and to see if there's anything urgent you've forgotten.
Only add tasks, not projects
Sometimes we add things to our to do list that are much more involved and time consuming, and therefore should be treated as projects. If you’re wanting to declutter a room in your house, this is a project and is not be achievable in a day.
Use your dump list to chunk it up into smaller tasks, for example, clear out 1 drawer; clean empty drawer; sort drawer contents into keep and bin piles; put keep items back into drawer; throw out rubbish; take keep pile to local charity shop etc. Now you can add some of these micro tasks to your daily to do list to finally make progress on that long awaited project.