Is Your Todo List Getting Longer And Longer?

Do you use a todo or task app on your phone? And have you enabled recurring reminders for overdue tasks? Do you have an ever growing list of overdue tasks?

If your task list is growing, or if you find yourself dismissing task reminders several days in a row without actually looking at the overdue tasks, then these tip might be for you:

Don’t mix actionable tasks and “someday, maybe I should do this”

If you don’t look at your overdue tasks, maybe they are not real, concrete tasks after all. Maybe you are using your task list to remind you of things you feel you should do, but you don’t actually ever get around to do them.

Quickfix: Create a new list called “someday maybe”. Move all non-actionable tasks to this list.

Don’t add complex tasks to your todo list

Your todo list should only contain concrete tasks that you can complete within less than a day’s work. Anything bigger than that can be treated like a project or a larger goal, but not a task. You’ll need to break these “bigger things” into smaller pieces – the concrete tasks – if you actually want to make some progress.

Quickfix: Create a new list called “needs clarification”. Move all those “bigger things” from your todo list to this new list. Remember to do go over this new list sometime in the future and actually create those concrete tasks for your todo list.

Bonus tip: For some of your “todos” (which are really bigger things) you’ll have this uneasy feeling when are moving them from your active todo list to this new “needs clarification”-list. For each todo where you have this feeling of uneasiness, take a moment and find out what triggers this feeling: Maybe it’s time to let this “todo” go and delete it forever? Or maybe you can think of an actionable task right away? Also, try to learn from this experience.

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