How to shrink an ever-growing to-do list.
1. Remove todos that are old
If you have a todo that is more than a month old it is not important or relevany (except for paying taxes)
2. Limit your to do list to five, seven or up to 10 items. If you can’t fit it into your top 10 things that you need to do that it probably is not important.
3. Give yourself a deadline. Do item one by Tuesday before I eat dinner.
I have found that this type of deadline works for me. It is flexible in time so if something takes an hour longer than I thought, I will still eat dinner but it motivates me to finish.
4. Delegate your list to other people
This is a common productivity tactic mentioned in the four hour work week and other places. If you have a to do item of mowing the lawn, hire somebody to mow your lawn.
5. Pick three items from your list that you will absolutely do during the day
Many times if you can get three things done in a day, even things that don’t seem significant mean that you will get 21 things done in a week and over 1000 things done in a year
6. Ask somebody else to narrow down your list.
Get help from a friend or family member. Have them tell you what the five most important things are. Discard the rest.
7. Perfection is the enemy of progress
Complete tasks at 80% effectiveness instead of worrying about being perfect. For example cleaning. It is better to have a bathroom that is 80% clean then not do it at all because it seems overwhelming.
8. Flip it around and have a don’t do list
I honestly am not sure how this would turn out, but just a thought. For example, instead of saying, I will eat more vegetables say I will not eat cookies.
9. Break your list into short term, medium term, and long term to do’s
I have done this in the past, but I have found that it doesn’t really help that much. It might work for you.
10. Take any big item and break it down into smaller items. Anything that you are stuck on you can always make it a smaller task.