Make These Two Lists Everyday to Boost Productivity

Do you ever sit down to write your daily to do’s and the list just goes on and on? It can be really discouraging. But, just because your list seems never ending, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to finish all your tasks that day.

Ruth Carter, a lawyer I met in a virtual mastermind group for entrepreneurs called ShankMinds, was having just this problem.  So I suggested a creative solution to this problem.  I told her to make two list per day.  A before lunch list and an after lunch list.  

Now each morning she divides her page in two and splits her to do lists into things to do in the morning and things to do in the afternoon. She wrote about how much it helped her here. It may seem simple, but splitting your list into two can make your day seem much more manageable.

You can then also use the Pomodoro technique – working in 25 minute burst with a 5 minute break in between. Splitting up your to-dos into bite-sized chunks can help you maintain focus for longer periods of time.

Here are some other benefits from splitting your list in two:

Stop Procrastination – If you’re one of those people who waits until the last few hours of the day to do everything — this method will help you! Having a morning list gives you a sense of urgency to get some of your tasks completed before lunch. Plus it allows you to enjoy your lunch because you can look back and see how much you’ve already accomplished.

Help Prioritization – I often say the most productive people don’t have more time, they just use it more wisely. By splitting your tasks into two every day you force yourself to make snap decisions about what is more important. This kind of quick prioritizing can really help you when you’re in a bind. Our natural instinct is to see everything as a priority – but if you only have enough time to do one or two things you have to be able to pick one!

Cut Down on Choices – Having multiple lists helps to narrow your focus. Rather than trying to juggle all the different things you have to do in one day, you’re free to focus only on the tasks you’ve set yourself for the next few hours. You can spend less time worrying about what you have to do next and put more energy into what you’re doing right now.

How do you set up your to-do lists?

6 replies
  1. Genavieve
    Genavieve says:

    I truly think it was a devine intervention me going to your workshop at BlogHer…lol. Going to start this today! I write several lists all day long… the opposite needs to happen, I need to scale it down.

  2. Marvin C Russell
    Marvin C Russell says:

    Hi Paula,

    This article was pretty interesting. I had not thought about making a morning and afternoon checklists each day. Going to try this and may recommend it to our checklists makers at Checkli.


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