How to Simplify Your To-Do List (And Eventually Your Life)

How To Simplify Your To-Do List (And Eventually Your Life).png
You can do anything, but not everything.
— David Allen

Are you the type of person who keeps a to-do list?  If so, is your list something you actually write down on paper?  Or are you more of a “list on your phone” kind of person? Maybe you don’t write down your to-do list at all and it’s just a mental list.  

Regardless of where you keep your to-do list…how many items are on it?  Is your list manageable?  Or does it seem like you end up adding three new items for every one you complete?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you!  I can help you cut your list in half AND let go of the guilt you might feel about the items that you don’t end up doing.

How?  Keep reading!


Step 1: Jot It Down

The first thing you need to do is write down your to-do list.  This means get out a pen and a piece of paper and write down everything that you need to do.  And I mean EVERYTHING!  The point of this exercise is to do a complete brain dump and get every single task out of your head and onto paper.  

If you feel like there are too many items, then break it down into categories.  You might have sections called Home, Work, Kids, Hobbies, etc. Once you’ve got the full list, move on to the next step.


Step 2: Analyze

The next thing you need to do is to analyze and prioritize your to-do list.  Here are some important questions you should ask yourself about every single item.

  • Do I actually care about this task?  

  • Does it add value to my life?  

  • Will it matter if it doesn’t ever happen?  

  • Am I going to feel guilty if I don’t do it?  

  • Or will I be relieved to cross it off the list? 

The whole point of this step is to figure out what really matters to you.  If there is an item on your to-do list that is simply a “should” rather than a “want to/need to”, then it needs to go.  Chances are the “should” items will never get done, mostly because we tend to avoid or put off the things we don’t enjoy.  If you try to force yourself to do the task, you’re even more likely to ignore it.


Step 3: Minimize

The last step of this exercise is to cross things off your list that you either don’t need to do or don’t want to do.  And the most important part of this step is to completely let go of the items and don’t let yourself feel guilty for taking them off your list.  It doesn’t do you any good to feel crappy about removing a task, so use the action of crossing it off your list as a form of letting go and moving on.

Now that you’ve crossed off the items that you don’t want to do or don’t need to do, review your list again. Does it look better?  Do you feel better about how much you need to do? Take this exercise into the future and keep using it to streamline and hone your list on an ongoing basis.

See how good that feels?

Now that you’ve cleaned out your to-do list, you might enjoy looking at a fun tool I’ve created that is called “The Un-Do List”.  It shows a bunch of things that you can STOP doing to feel happier. If you’d like to check out this tool, click the banner below and enter your name and email address.  You will get the list automatically emailed to you.

I hope this post was helpful to you and that it has inspired you to simplify your day and ultimately your life.  If you know of anyone who could use help with this, please share this post with them! And don’t forget to stay tuned for my next post, coming up on Wednesday.

Until then, sending all the light & love your way, 
Beth  ♡ 

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