How To Write A Better To-Do List (and get more done!)

Published on:

October 6, 2020

Why we need to upgrade the To-Do list

For many people, the to-do list under-delivers and for some people it’s a source of great stress.

Why we need to upgrade the to-do list:

  • To-do lists can be overwhelming. You're not encouraged to add more to-do items when you start falling behind.
  • To-do lists can become don’t forget lists
  • They can be used to park a task, rather than getting on with it there and then.
  • And what happens to a to-do item that's not been done? It sits in limbo stressing the list owner.

To be effective a to-do list needs a solid routine or system around it.

You can add anything like you to the done list; ideas, midnight inspirations, things not to forget, without feeling like you’re giving yourself more work. This can help you feel like a more purpose-driven business.

Both halves of the list are equally important.

The benefits of an upgraded to-do list:

  1. There are no outstanding items on a Done List. Productivity has more to do with deciding what not to do than what to do.
  2. Many things will be 'not dones'. They are not done, but not forgotten either. As opposed to a To-Do which has failure built-in when not completed.

How to write a better to do-list:

So rename your To-Do list, the Done List.

  1. Apply the new rules and mind-set to it
  2. Review the dones at the end of each week and ask yourself what have you learnt, what could you do differently or better next time.
  3. Review the not dones. Look at the ones you don’t want to do and start with those that are important and/or urgent.

About Paul Freudenberg

Paul Freudenberg is a business productivity coach and consultant with a focus on operational excellence delivering improved profitability and business performance, and Founder of Awardaroo in 2005. Paul has set the mission of Awardaroo to help raise UK Business Productivity from one of the lowest in the G7 to one of the highest by 2030. Connect on LinkedIn

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