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Shaping Up Your To-Do List

Image by Hola Lou -

The dangers of an overloaded to-do list - Does your to-do list feel never-ending and unsatisfying? Here is an exercise to fix this.⠀


  1. Select an amount of time - Hide your monster to-do list and only look at it when making smaller, time-specific ones i.e. a list that covers the tasks to complete in the next fortnight, week, day, or even just the next hour.⠀
  2. Find your useful time - How much time do you actually have? Look over your calendar for your free working time - the bits which aren't disrupted by meetings, events, or other activities. Total this time up.⠀
  3. Now update your to-do list so that it only contains the important tasks that 'must' get done, and you can get done, in the time you have.⠀
  4. After you've completed all the tasks, or reach the end of time the list covers, reflect on what you've done, and celebrate in some way (big or small).⠀
  5. Before you repeat - Step 4 is very important, resist the urge to just continue on. It's this pause, reflection, and celebration that will improve your sense of achievement and productivity.⠀

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Adam Ellison

Adam Ellison

The founder and course mentor at The Monday Morning Club

This article was updated on May 27, 2022