Simplify Your To-Do List With This Process
Simplifying your to-do list has got to be the most important thing that you could do right this minute - after reading this post - that would help you to gain clarity and get things done right now that you’ve been either putting off or just have no clue that you need to prioritize. The steps I take and use are quite easy if you know what to do. And it doesn’t have to do with using all the latest productivity apps or scheduling tools, though they can help you along the way. All the ‘hacks’ to increase your productivity means nothing if you don’t know what should on your to-do list. So, the best place to start with increasing your productivity is by organizing and then simplifying your to-do list. It is about how you make your list in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the easiest method to simplify your to-do list.
1. Keep Your To-do List Minimal
A minimal lifestyle can help a lot in building an actionable to-do list. You need to create a master list that holds all of your tasks, projects, etc., in categories. Then choose 3 to 6 tasks to complete daily. When you keep your list minimal, it ensures that you only make space for the important tasks that will positively affect you. Having a long list and getting nothing done can be demotivating. A minimal list allows you to accomplish more in a bite sized way.
2. List Only Essential Tasks
Eliminate anything but essential tasks from your everyday to-do list. And make sure those tasks are items that you will definitely do and are important to your overall goals. Don’t add tasks to your list for tomorrow that you know you won’t be ready to do for at least a few days or even weeks. This is where keeping everything on a master to-do list helps because you can simply pull tasks from that list over to your daily list.
Action Step: If, for example, you have a major project to do, break it down into smaller actionable tasks. Then take these tasks and spread them out over the course of the day or a week keeping to your minimal list of 3 to 6 tasks per day.
3. Do the Most Important or Tedious Task First
Cross off the most important or tedious task first. Why? Because 9 times out of 10 that’s the task you’ll spend the most time on and it may also be your least favorite. There is nothing better than being able to check a task off your list as completed. I don’t know about you but I take the extra time once things are done - especially early - and binge watch my favorite shows :D Back to the topic at hand. It doesn’t matter if the task is not geared towards your overall development - whether professional or personal. So, prioritize your tasks in order of importance to meeting your goals. Whatever you have identified as the most important task to achieve your goals for the day or week, that is the task that should be completed first. It will give you the momentum to get the rest of the tasks completed. And if life intervenes and you are unable to complete the list, at least the most important one does not get moved down the line to another day.
With this 3-step process, you can have a successful day no matter the medium you use to keep track of your tasks.
How do you simplify your to-do list? Let me know in the comments below.