3 Must Do’s: Stop Using a Traditional and Daunting To-Do List

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How many of us when feeling stressed and overwhelmed think if I create a to-do list and get everything I need to do on paper I will feel less stressed. Well, there is some truth to this. By putting everything that needs to get done on paper gets it out of your mind. But when you then go and look at your long to-do list you feel overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of the list. It’s time to stop using a traditional to-do list. [Tweet This]

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Photo Credit: Mattox via Stock.XCHNG cc

Call long to-do lists what they really are – long term things you might get done, some day. [Tweet This] Don’t create a long to-do list to accomplish every day. It can be so daunting. [Tweet This] Instead create your 3 Must Do’s for each day.

For months now my wife and I have been using the 3 Must Do rule. This rule has increased our daily productivity dramatically. At the end of everyday we have made progress and feel a sense of accomplishment.

  •  It works like this:

Your 3 Must Do’s will be 3 tasks or actions you have to get done before the day is over. What’s the reason for three you ask? Well, three is a manageable number. It’s not too much to be overwhelming and not too small to feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. These 3 Must Do’s can be work, home, personal, goal-oriented items.

You take the 3 most important items you want or need to accomplish that day and place them on your MUST DO list. They are the only 3 to-do items that go on the list for the day – NOTHING ELSE. You have to complete the 3 items on the list before you lay down to go to sleep at night.

  • How to determine what goes on your list:

Items on this list should contribute to a long term goal. A word of caution, the item on your MUST DO list is not the long term goal itself but an action or step forward to accomplishing that long term goal.

What type of tasks should I put on my 3 Must Do’s? The tasks placed on this list should be important items to you. They should be tasks that give you a sense of accomplishment when they are complete.

  • Best Practices
    1. Start the morning off by working on these items. The sooner the better. This way the day does not get away from you and it’s dinnertime and nothing on your list is complete.
    2. Create a 15 minute calendar appointment at the end of each day to determine your 3 Must Do’s for the next day. This will have two benefits to you. First, it will get you excited about what you will accomplish the next day. And second, you won’t have to think about it when you wake up and you can focus on your list for the day.

How do you manage your “To-Do List?” Share what you do so we all can learn from you.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] before. Sit down at the beginning of each day and map out the tasks you need to complete that day, including your three must do’s. Then knock them out one at a time by scheduling them on your […]

  2. […] STEP: Decide on your MIT (most important task) for the day and schedule 90 minutes of focused time working on your MIT. This should be a task or […]

  3. […] a to-do list everything that needed to get done (BTW: I don’t us a huge to-do list anymore. Click here to find out what I use). The to-do list was daunting to say the least. I came to a point where there was too much stress […]

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