Overwhelming To-Do List

If you’re anything like me, you probably create a to-do list for everything…. I mean everything: put away clothes, take out garbage, send text to xyz, put post-it notes away on desk.

Does anyone else tend to dream of the things that didn’t get crossed off their to-do list? *sigh* But it’s fine – we all have days where we never catch-up or feel like we get didn’t make a good enough dent in that never ending list.

I’m on the fence if quarantine is helping with tackling to-do lists or if it’s just making them longer. Maybe it depends on the day… One day our to-do lists get 1000x longer and the next day our to-do lists are completed.

The method I swear by is known as the 1-3-5 List. It’s wicked straight forward and effective because you break your list into three categories. So if you’re like me and struggle with prioritizing projects or struggle with how to start your day, this method is insanely helpful. I used to get really overwhelmed when I would sit down and create my daily to-do list. Now I feel 100% better, simply because I started to integrate this method into my personal and work life.

1 Big To-Do

3 Medium To-Dos

5 Small To-Dos

The focus is to get your biggest to-do list out of the way first and then move to smaller items. It really helps to create a positive forward momentum. When you take care of your hardest or biggest to-do, you’ll not only feel amazing, but you’ll also be ready to take on more.

I’ve broken down each sections and given examples. My goal here is to keep yah calm and help yah get stuff done!

One Big Thing

  • The project your boss has been bringing up everyday for the last week
  • A big meeting
  • Calls that are longer than 30 minutes

Three Medium Things

  • Check-in meeting with boss or someone you manage
  • Re-write notes from meetings *I tend to do this when the meeting lets out because everything is fresh in my head*

Five Small Things

Think of these items as the ones you really don’t need to block time off on your calendar for.

  • Schedule reminders to send out emails when a dividend is schedule to pay
  • Pick up groceries
  • Schedule grooming appointment
  • Shoot XYZ a text to have a zoom happy hour
A little throwback to better times in NYC during the fall
Location: NYPL
Shoes| Planner | Sunglasses

Other Tips

Cluster similar tasks together.

I try to put items that are similar with each other – it helps your brain from bouncing around. If I’m cleaning up my calendar, that’s when I will add reminders of daily items that I do each day (i.e. send out emails about dividends going x and when they are scheduled to pay; cell phone bill is scheduled for auto-pay on x day)

If you’re schedule tends to shift a lot throughout the day, I recommend leaving one medium and two small tasks blank – I wish this was something I was doing earlier on. I used to struggle with change during my work day (i.e. a boss sending an e-mail about a new project that needs to be done by EOD)

For those of us that are on the go *or aren’t old school like me with my pen and paper* there’s a really great platform that allows you to create any type of list you want using the 1-3-5 list template. The basic account is free or you can pay $25/year for the premium account. I’ve been using it and find it to be really helpful for when you’re on the go.

I know the above is a lot at first, but I promise once you start putting this method to work, you’ll feel totally accomplished. Just remember, forcing yourself to set-up a 1-3-5 list will help you cross off more.

If you’re looking to de-clutter your calendar while also implementing this method, check out my tips on that here. Be sure to share your tips for managing your to-do list in the comments section.


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