Taming the To-Do Lists

Something I consistently see are to-do lists run amok. From post-its stuffed in notebooks to multiple note pads of to-do lists scattered all over a house, I've seen it. I've also seen that each owner of a crazy to-do list was frustrated beyond belief because they could never find the list they needed when they needed it. Do you, like so many others, have multiple to-do lists all run amok? Then here's what you're going to do:

You're going to turn all of your lists into three separate lists:

  • Master list - Everything you want and need to get done. It can be separated into sections – personal to-do, professional to-do, need to buy, wish list, etc. but it all stays on ONE list.
  • Goals for the week - At the beginning of every week, pluck items from the master list that you want to accomplish that week. If something didn’t happen, it moves on to the next week.
  • Goals for the day - At the end of each day, choose a few tasks off the weekly goal list to be your to-do list for the next day. If it didn't get done, it moves to the next day.

Keep all three lists in ONE place where it will live. This way, it will always be easy to find so you don't have to ever start a new list. If you find that you’re moving tasks from day to day and week to week without accomplishing them, ask yourself why. Is this something you really want to do or just something you think you “should” do. If you really want to do it, then light a fire under it and do it. If you think you should but don’t want to, mark it off the list never to be worried about again. 

Basically, do it or ditch it.

Consolidating multiple lists then dividing them into master, weekly and daily to-dos will give you a stronger structure in which to get all those to-dos crossed off once and for all!