How to Get Your To Do List Done

“How to Get Your To Do List Done” by Joan Y. Edwards

Sometimes my To Do List seems overwhelming. How about yours? Is your list longer than an encyclopedia?  Perhaps this idea might help.

Write down only the first five things you want to accomplish today. Make certain they can really be done in a day.

Prioritize your list. Are there any that you would feel really horrible, if you didn’t get it done today? What? You say all of them! Oh my goodness!

Now put them in order from shortest amount of time to do it to the longest time to do it.

1. Start working on the one that takes the shortest amount of time.

2. When you finish doing it, start on the second one. When you have finished two jobs, recheck your priority list.

Are there any you think can wait until tomorrow? You say, “No way.”

3. Okay. Continue working on your list. Do the third thing on your list.

When you finish it, reward yourself with a 15 minute breather. Cold glass of lemonade. Peanut butter sandwich or crackers.

Time to get back to your list.

4. Now tackle #4. If you hit a snag, and realize you have to go somewhere to get something to finish it, stop and go to number 5.

5. When you finish #5, then go to the store and get what you need to complete #4.

6. Now finish #4.

7. When you have all 5 items completed for your To Do List for today, look in the mirror and shout “Hip Hip Hooray for me!

8. Celebrate.

Thanks for reading my blog. Tell me how you get things done on your To Do List. Here are links to  two articles that might have ideas to help you, too.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

12 thoughts on “How to Get Your To Do List Done”

  1. Joan, when I read the title of your article, I was consumed by anxiety for exactly the reason you suggest — too overwhelming, too long, can’t cope, hide my head under the pillow and do nothing.

    {Phew}. I’m going to start making a list for tomorrow and pick the top five things. Great, great post. Many thanks.

    1. Dear Margaret, I’m glad that taking the top five things for tomorrow is lightening your load. Life can get overwhelming at times. When it does, if we can take it one thing at a time, we’ll have more done than we think. Good luck! I know you are going to be amazed with your progress.

      Joan Y. Edwards Flip Flap Floodle, the little duck who never gives up, even inside Mr. Fox’s belly

  2. Joan,
    Thanks! I like the suggestion to take time to recheck your priority list before moving forward. I know for me I had to add items to my to do list today that I didn’t know would require me to be there in person. Sometimes, we just have to rethink and regroup. It is important to celebrate our successes and completed lists.

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked the suggestion to take time to recheck your priority list before moving forward. You are right changes come about during the day that may cause your # 5 to go to the next day and have a new #5 for today. The thing to remember is to smile a lot and celebrate. You are exactly right.

      Enjoy being you. Believe in Yourself.
      Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Joan, thanks. I do what you’ve suggested except I usually choose (not deliberately) the LONGEST item – and it ends up taking most of the day. I shall definitely try the shortest tomorrow. Thank you for a good idea!

    1. Dear Sashirl,
      The reason I say to start the shortest ones is that it gets you on a roll, and you feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Then ultimately it’s easier to get going on the next project. You’ll more than likely not resist it. I hope this works great for you. Thank you for writing. Celebrate you for working on your “To-Do” list.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  4. I really like your ideas, and I’m going to try narrowing my list down to five things. After all, it is much better to face something down that is actually possible isn’t it?
    As for me, my current coping strategy has been to stay up later and later … and drink more coffee! Obviously, I need a more long term strategy. 😉

    1. Dear Kirsten,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you like my ideas. Putting list down in fives make smaller chunks and possibly will make it not seem overwhelming. Staying up later and later and drinking more coffee definitely works…however, I find when I stay up later and later, I pay for it the next day. But then, that’s a way to get it done. I love you for showing me your sense of humor. Thanks.

      Celebrate your sense of humor!
      Joan Y. Edwards

      1. Dear Joan,
        Thank you so much for doing this blog. Lately I find myself going ten different ways. After reading your blog, I’ll slow myself down to five. 🙂

        1. Dear June,
          You’re very welcome. I’m glad you stopped by to visit. It does help when we’re pulled in 100 different directions to choose five to focus on. Sometimes even three, or just one. One step at a time.
          You’ll get it done. Feel good about you. No one else could be you better than you!
          Celebrate you! You are priceless.
          Joan Y. Edwards

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