How to shorten your to do list by making three

I’ve always been a huge to do list maker.

Not only do I make a lot of to do lists, they are also very long.

Too long.

Impossible to achieve long.

Until I recently started to experiment with making three to do lists:

• one is created with logic

• one is created with intuition

• one combines logic and intuition

I was originally going to call this post, “How to make a to do list with both sides of your brain,” but then I read that the “right brain” and “left brain” aren’t as dichotomous as we were once led to believe.

Here’s how the process works:

Each day, I start by making a traditional to do list. It’s usually rather long (I can think of a lot of things to do!) and comes together quickly. It can look something like this:

To do list one

Then, I make a to do list using my feelings and intuition. I slooooooow down, close my eyes and ask, “What do I really need to do today?” Rather than think of the answer, I try to listen for it. The answer can come in words, feelings, or images. The second list is often shorter than the first and can look something like this:

To do list two

Finally, I make a third list that combines the two lists and includes things that:

Show up on both lists. If I think and feel that something needs to happen, it must be a priority.

I know has to get done whether I feel like it, or not (e.g. pay bills). These are usually time sensitive to-dos that show up on the first list.

Surprises me. These items are usually from the second list (e.g. call a friend I haven’t thought of in years).

My final to-do list looks something like this:

To do list three

Although it takes longer to make the three lists than if I just made one, the final list is always more manageable in size, more focused on what truly needs to happen that day, and sometimes contains a fun surprise!

If you try this for yourself, I would recommend writing your final to-do list on a small piece of paper so that it literally can’t be too long. I use 8.5 x 11 scrap paper that I cut into quarters.

What is your favorite way to make a to-do list?

If you give this way a try, lemme know how it goes!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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