Prioritize Your To-Do’s with Today’s Top 3

Let’s face it – most of us feel overwhelmed by too many to-do’s on a daily basis. But while there is always a lot to do in the lives most of us live, I often remind myself that it doesn’t have to all get done today. Many of us do benefit from a running to-do list – a place to capture to-do’s on “paper” and get them out of our head – but looking at that list every morning as what needs to get done can easily be overwhelming.

A better strategy for many people is to use their to-do list as a reference to create a “today’s top 3” list – this list should be the top 3 items that must get done today or would make you feel the most accomplished even if nothing else happens. Picking the top 3 can be tough as it can feel like everything is a priority, but with some practice, you’ll find that a few things really do rise to the top. The benefits of the top 3 list are 1) less list overwhelm and 2) a much higher chance of completing your list for the day, which can really boost your sense of accomplishment and motivation. The top 3 can also help keep you laser-focused on those items rather than wandering around your larger list without actually completing anything.

A few other list tips:

  1. Don’t put tasks that are already well-established habits or routines on running to-do list. Your list should only have items that you need help remembering to do.
  2. Always be on the look-out for items that you don’t really need to do at all. If you want less to do, you really need to say no to some (or many) things. Always ask yourself “why” do I need to do this. If it truly matters, then keep it on the list, but if it’s non-essential and you are overwhelmed, consider crossing it off altogether.
  3. Keep an eye out for recurring items that could be streamlined or automated – think automated payments or a master grocery list.

Give today’s top 3 a try – you might get more done and feel less overwhelmed – a win-win!