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The Best To-Do List Trick Ever

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Brian
07.26.14

I have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. Sometimes they help me get through a busy day unscathed, but other times they just make me feel guilty about all of the stuff I haven’t done yet.

You too? Well it turns out we’re not alone – a study by iDoneThis showed that 41 percent of items on to-do lists are never completed. Yikes!

For me, the problem comes down to putting too many items on my to-do list. Once the task logjam starts, it’s difficult for me to recover.

Here’s an easy solution: try making ultra-prioritized to-do lists that only include the really important stuff. The stuff that absolutely has to happen.

I’ll give you an example. Last weekend I went through my home room-by-room and picked the single aspect of each room I most wanted to change. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Living Room: Get a better seal around the swamp cooler.

2. Kitchen: Clean the crumbs out of my counter/oven crevice.

3. Bathroom: Kill the mold at the base of my toilet.

4. Bedroom #1: Buy and hang some more wall art. Things look bleak in here.

5. Bedroom #2: Re-caulk my skylight. Spiders are invading through the cracks.

And guess what? I made that list on Saturday morning and crushed it by Sunday afternoon. Then I spent Sunday night feeling pretty great about myself and enjoyed a little TV.

If you have a lot of rooms to cover, your list may be a little longer. But stick to this “One Item per Room” rule, and you should end up with a manageable list.

Give it a shot. Share your ultra-prioritized lists in the comments! 

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