Make every day count by ditching your to-do lists

By productivity

Ditching to-do lists for daily goals and intentions is one of the best things I’ve done for my productivity.

For years, I operated with a to-do list. Each day, a new series of tasks would pile up. As my responsibilities at work grew, so did my to-do list.

At its peak, I had three pages covered in tasks that I needed to do. It didn’t take long for the stress of drowning in tasks to overwhelm me.

When everything started to fall apart and I could no longer keep up with my never ending list of things to do, I decided to drastically change the way I worked. I switched from a daily to-do list to a daily goals and intentions system.

How does it work?

Every day, including weekends and for the past two years, I write down thetop three to four things I want to achieve for the day.

These are often things I feel that are most important to me. They are also things that will contribute to my long term goals and vision of what I want for myself.

Two out of three items are usually related to my day job. The third task is usually reserved for something personal that I must do. Every now and then I throw in a self-care goal for the day. The fourth, if I think there will be enough time left over at the end of the day, I point it towards a personal project I’m working on.

Weather it be an idea or a task, I wake up and determine what is most important to me. I condense it down and ruthlessly prioritize. Everything else remains in the back seat.

Throughout the day, I refer back to my goals and intentions.

By having only a maximum of four items, it keeps my mind focused, reduces the mental clutter and improves my ability to carry out the task I’ve set for myself.

Over time, the things on my original to-do list lost its importance. Looking back, if I had continued down that path, I would have invested time on things that didn’t really matter.

What happened when I ditched my to-dos

By ditching my to-do list and prioritizing the things in my life through daily goals and intentions, I’m making every day count because I’m also ditching the things that do not align with what I want in life.

And that’s the whole point of having daily goals and intentions. It gave me the ability to focus my willpower, attention and energy towards the things that are most important. It also allowed me to be present in my daily activities and ensure that no time is wasted on unimportant tasks.

This is how I deal with the things that I need to do and to get going on doing them. What are your strategies to get yourself focused? What methods do you use to do what you’re supposed to do?

I’d love to hear your feedback and perhaps even try out a few of them.

Last modified: May 28, 2020

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