Why You Should Cut Your To-Do List in Half

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Do you have a monster-sized to-do list?Image of a woman holding a wallet and a cellphone and the phrase, Why You Should Cut Your To-Do List in Half

Are you wondering how you’ll get everything done?

Sometimes, the best course of action when it comes to your to-dos, is to do some much-needed pruning…

In this post, I offer a few good reasons as to why you might want to cut your to-do list in half, or create a smaller list entirely!

You’ll actually get things done.

It’s quite simple: a smaller to-do list means you can actually complete tasks.

No more wondering if you’re going to get everything done in one day, or feeling as if you’ve failed because you didn’t check everything off.

We often been up our to-do lists with items because there’s so many things to be done.

Here’s the kicker: there will always be things to do, no matter what.

So, why not cut yourself a break?

Instead of listing five gazillion things to do today, try writing down three short tasks that absolutely must be completed today. I know, it may seem strange to do this, but give it a whirl. You’ll not only tackle those tasks, but you’ll feel like a million dollars when you’re done. Remember, you get to repeat the process tomorrow, so it’s a win-win situation.

You can focus your attention on what’s really important.

Having a limited to-do list makes you take a hard look at what you’re doing. Since there’s no fluff, or extraneous stuff to distract you, your attention will be like a laser beam, highly focused and concentrated. You’ll say goodbye to all that time you spent worrying over your to-dos, and turn your attention to actually completing your work and personal projects.

What’s important in your life right now? Is there an upcoming party you need to plan, a report you need to write, a doctor’s appointment you need to make, or a friend you need to call back? Once you prioritize what’s important in your life, the to-dos will naturally follow.

Your to-do list items are outdated.

To-do lists are like little historical markers. They represent who you are (and were) at certain periods in your life. A to-do list you create today will be extremely different from one you created a month, or even a year ago. You may have a few tasks on your list right now that have no bearing whatsoever on your current life. Wouldn’t you say it’s about time for a change?

What old or outdated items can you trim from your list? What items no longer fit who you are right now, and no longer resonate with your goals and dreams? It’s completely okay to let these things go. If you happen to miss something in the future, you can always add it to your list later on. But, chances are, you won’t.

You’ll live your life baggage-free.

That’s right: no more worries, headaches, or indecision getting in your way. You’re free to make things, create things, explore, and have fun!

Here’s an analogy: let’s say you are going on vacation and you’re set on only using a carry on bag for your belongings. After packing most of the bag, you realize you only have room for one more shirt. You’re torn between taking your favorite red or blue shirt. What do you do? Do you cancel your trip because you can’t decide on the shirt?

No, you choose one, pack it, and get over it! You probably don’t even miss the other shirt during your trip because you’re busy enjoying sightseeing, lounging by the pool, or eating a fantastic meal.

Don’t let your to-do list hold you hostage or prevent you from what you want to do with your life. Take only what you need, use it, and move on in your travels.

How about you? Are you going to trim your to-do list? What items are definitely coming off of your list? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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