The only to-do list you need

Hands up if you add too many items to your to-do list each day.

You might feel frustrated that you’re “not accomplishing anything.” The real issue is that you’re not prioritizing tasks.

I’ve experimented with numerous approaches to the to-do list over the years, and finally settled on a simple format that works.

  1. Create two columns.
  2. Label the column on the left “Now.”
  3. Label the column on the right “Later.”
  4. Fill the left column with high-priority tasks that truly need to be completed today. By necessity, you’ll find that this list is usually pretty short: maybe 2 or 3 items.
  5. Fill the right column with all tasks that need to be completed later. “Later” could mean the next day, week, or month. The point is that you don’t need to worry about them today.
  6. Each day, make a new list, transferring items from “Later” to “Now” as appropriate. Notice if tasks from “Later” eventually drop off altogether.

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