The best productivity hack for computer-based to-do lists

Carrie JordanBusiness, Life Design

The best productivity hack for computer-based to-do listsIs your productivity suffering as your to-do list exponentially expands to the point where it’s almost unmanageable?

As I like to say with the Life Design Method, adding things to your “to-do list” like “organize the closet” and “empty the dishwasher” are important because our surroundings influence our lives…but they don’t belong on the to-do list.

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These kinds of tasks can lead to perfectionism. As Dr. Clarisa Pinkola Estés says in Women who Run with the Wolves, women tend to put cooking and cleaning above their creative, spiritual, professional, and personal pursuits.

Here are some tips for prioritization:

Prioritize 3 of the most important things you have to complete in a day.

Ask yourself if those things are projects or tasks. If they are projects,  you’re going to need to break them into smaller tasks in order to take the first steps.

Complete those first priorities and then you can move on to the ones further down the list.

My favorite productivity technique is the Pomodoro Technique.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Decide which task to complete
  2. Set a timer to 25 minutes
  3. Work until the timer buzzes, and record the work session on a scrap piece of paper with an x
  4. Take a 3-minute break
  5. After four 25-minute work sessions (4 xs), take a longer 15-30 minute break

This method works so well because we can see the time ticking and it creates a competition with oneself to see if we can finish the task in time.

And of course…breaks. Usually I get up and walk around for my breaks, or during the longer ones make a cup of tea.

I recommend the app Pomodoro One, which you can buy in the app store, to keep track of your time.

Do you use this method? How do you prioritize and decide what to do first? How do you get through your to-do list?

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