How to cut your to do list in under 3 minutes

How to cut down your to do list - how to be more productive.jpg

It’s great to write lists. They are good to get things out of our head and onto paper. But how often have you felt that you have that never ending to-do list and you go to bed with a feeling of unaccomplishment and disappointment.

The best way to turn this around? Write your to-do list for tomorrow the night before. You can write business and personal items on the same page, just split them into 2 groups.

When that’s done, get a highlighter and ask the following question: What must be done in order for me to move towards achieving my goal (yes, you need to know what your goal is)? What must absolutely happen in order for you to get there?

Then highlight only 3 (yes, three) things that you are going to do. Be ruthless. These are the 3 things that will bring you that feeling of accomplishment even if you do just these three things. Keep your goal front and centre to figure out what are these three things are.

You must do these 3 things before you even try to look at what else you want to do.

Can I make it 5, you might ask? For the optimum result - nope. Only if you get your 3 most important things done on a day, you can add another one or two. Once you’re done with those tasks (total of 5), you’re done for the day.

This is one of the simplest techniques. Do the same with your personal list. Make sure you do your personal tasks outside of your business hours.

Not convinced?

Here is another option for you.

Get yourself a Productivity Planner that gives you only 5 tasks per day. You start with the most important task for the day, then add another two and then you write down two additional tasks that you do only if you finished above three.

Productivity Planner encourages you to use pomodoro technique. First you estimate how many “pomodoros” (25-minute period) you will spend on a particular task and then you mark how many “pomodoros” you used to actually get the task done. This way you learn to understand how much each task takes to be completed.

I talk more about how I use productivity planner in Tuesday Live video below.

Over to you.

Write a list for tomorrow. At the top of the list (or on another piece of paper) write what your goal is for this sprint. Go through your list and highlight the 3 most important things to do that will give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction even if these will be only these 3 things done next day.


Print out your trial pages from Productivity Planner that is available from their website and plan your day for tomorrow. At the end of the day take a few minutes to reflect how you went during the day and plan your next day.

“Doing things is not the same as
getting things done.”

~ Jared Silver