Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


To-Do List or Brain Dump?

Tips to Create More Checkmarks

I love checking off items on a To-Do list. What high achieving person doesn’t? In fact, I will add things I have already done simply so I can check them off. (Who’s with me on this?) While a handy memory aid, a long or unfinished To-Do list can be very stressful and joy robbing.

I’ve gotten pretty laissez-faire lately about enabling my To-Do list to be a productivity enhancer. All of the lessons that I learned from Franklin Covey 25 years ago have vanished so this journal is an attempt to get myself back on track and share a few best practices.

First, have multiple lists. I tend to use my To-Do list as a brain dump. While it may feel therapeutic, it’s not very helpful. Some items are big ideas or need to be broken down. Yet, they still need to be captured. A more effective system can have a Master (or long-term or Big Ideas) list, a weekly list, a daily list and finally, a MIT (Most Important Task) list. Rather than a brain dump, leverage your lists to actually make a plan.

Second, break down a To-Do list item into a task that can be done “in one sitting.” So often our To-Do’s aren’t specific enough or will take more time than we reasonably have. Think small (and it becomes easier to check it off).

Finally, when you comprise your daily list, cut it in half. We rarely take into account all of the interruptions or unexpected distractions that arise in a day. Cutting it in half ensures that you actually give yourself a chance at completing your list in a day.

Here are a couple of great articles if you would like more information:

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