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How to Shorten Your Things to Do

Updated on October 30, 2011

shorten your things to do list into priority items

I am a list person and have all sorts of lists. A list of goals, a list of ideas and definitely a thing to do list. In fact, there are some days where I have several. Things to do today, things to do this week and even things to do next week, which can make your things to do list way too long.

Many people have extremely long things to do list. They make a list of things to do and for some reason there seems to be always one more thing to do and something else is added to the list. Does this describe your list of things to do? There is an easy way to make your to do list become a things accomplished list. These are techniques that can help you get things to do, done and out of your way.

One trick that has worked fairly well for many with these types of lists is working on priority items. If you have a fairly long list this is basically creating a shorter list. Aim for 3 to 5 priority items on your list and create a new list from these items. At the most only have five. I know this is difficult for tons of people. However, five is achievable and more realistic and will help you make a “to do” an accomplished list.

Although five items seems as if you are aiming fairly low in getting anything done, don’t worry. If you are serious about your time management, anxiety of accomplishing deadlines and work and want to move forward on your to do items try it.

Pretend you don’t have access to email-email will eat up a lot of time if you allow it to. If you have your ring or notice for email received turned on, this is extremely distracting to focusing on your work. In addition, checking one email always turns into checking more than one. You can start out checking one and before you realize it you have checked 5, 7 or even 10 and more have come in.

Should you do it?- many of us are kind to a fault which makes us vulnerable to do many things that we shouldn't do. doing things you shouldn't do will eat up your time unnecessarily. instead of putting these things on your list, ask if you should be doing these things. review your list for anything that is a should do instead of a must do. remove items that fit this category. They will get done without you.

Avoid distractions-distractions are very easy to sidetrack you from getting things done. This is true in the office or workplace as well as when you work from home. Don’t let your family and friends distract you from what you need to accomplish today. If you procrastinate you may be simply using these distractions to get you out of getting some work accomplished. Use your time wisely and don’t allow distractions to get in your way of things to do.

These are easy things you can do to get your to do list accomplished every day. Imagine what you could get done in a matter of weeks or months simply getting your to do list of five done each day?


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    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Great advice. I m trying to do this very thing.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome tips! Prioritization is key with so many things in life and can definitely help you get more accomplished. I keep my e-mail alert on my phone set on silent so it doesn't distract me while I'm getting other things done. I love sorting through e-mail on my phone while I have time and then taking care of the important ones on the computer later.

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 6 years ago

      I agree with everything you have written here and voted up.

      I have to make sure that I don't keep writing the same list daily and only getting the same things done, just having to rewrite every day. Some of the things that I know i can get side tracked with are ridiculous things like the mail online. I try telling myself its to see whats latest on the news, research for my hubs etc. But that's just an excuse. Its a time waster - I might as well sit down reading the OK magazine.

      The other distraction is the phone. I find that when I'm in full writing mode, my phone rings and the person on the other end always wants to talk for an hour opposed to ten minutes.

      Thank you so much for the tips here, esp. the prioritizing!

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      My things to do list gets bigger because I keep putting off the things to do. Great ideas to get things done! Vote up!