Is Your “To Do List” Ruining Your Life?

If you want to get stuff done, you need a “to-do” list.

From my experience, I can say that getting stuff done without a to-do list is almost impossible!

One HUGE mistake people make with their to-do list is that it’s just too long.

Sometimes pages long…

Long to-do lists create anxiety.

If you’ve ever looked at one of those huge lists and said to yourself…

“I have to do all of that?”

Then you know what I’m talking about.

You feel overwhelmed before you even get started!

So, what should you do about it?

Here are two simple tips I use almost every day to side-step the overwhelm.

1. Use A Short List

That doesn’t mean leaving stuff off your list and pretending like you don’t have to do that other stuff too. That kind of “positive thinking” is for chuckleheads.

Instead, use two lists.

The first list is your “master” to-do list, where you’ll keep track of ALL your tasks.

The second list is for your active to-dos. That means the two or three most important things that MUST get done that day.

A short list means no overwhelm. (see what I did there?)

2. Start The Day The Night Before

“But, Jim! When am I going to have time to create my lists?”

My secret?

Don’t create your “active to-do” list the first thing in the morning!

You’ll waste valuable time and energy. Plus, you’ll be tempted to focus on tasks that feel urgent instead of on the tasks that matter most.

Create your short, active to-do list the night before!

It will help you hit the ground running first thing and complete the most critical tasks for the next day with a clear head.


So, if you want to get things organized, you should:

  1. Set up a master to-do list and include all the tasks you need to get done.
  2. Before you go to bed, select two or three critical tasks for the next day for your active list.
  3. Follow your list.

For additional tips on being more productive and get results, you should join me in my Sales Copywriting And Content Marketing Hacks Facebook Group. It’s FREE, and I talk about topics like this almost every day.

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  • Adventago

    Reply Reply February 19, 2021

    Thank you for the advice Jim

    I had the same paralyzed feeling today what I had my todo list

    However, I now plan my tasks the night before on my phone

    Also if you do your list on your phone

    I set my alarms to go off at different times so I’m not hit with a million calendar notifications first thing in the morning

    Have an amazing day wishing you all the best from your friend Adventago 🙂

  • Ryan K Biddulph

    Reply Reply February 20, 2021

    Super advice Jim. Make that list short because long to-do lists consume your freedom. Lesson learned. We want to just BE as much as possible versus filling days with things to do for our business, blogs and for day to day stuff, too.


  • Selamawit Thomas

    Reply Reply February 24, 2021

    Very timely advice, thank you.

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