Simplifying Your Task List

Several stationery

There will always be stuff to do – whether at work or at home. There are times when the list of things we have to tackle is never ending. And when we have a long list of things to do, it can overwhelm us, and we are usually stretched beyond our capacity.

Personally, I try my best to simplify my to do list. I aim to do 3-5 things a day at work, and be happy with it. If I still have the energy and the time, then I get to do more things. The trick is to start the day with just a few items on your task list, instead of starting work by looking at a hundred things to do. And then maybe do 1 or 2 things at home. Fortunately, most of the chores have become habits, so it’s easier to do (mentally) since I don’t have to think about it too much. I also have a “backlog” of things that I have to get to eventually. The important thing is to put it on paper (or digital tool), and get it out of my brain. This method might not be for everyone, but it might be worth a try.

It sounds counterintuitive to limit your to do list when you want to get a lot of things done, but simplifying your task list and paring it down decreases overwhelm and context switching, which can negatively affect focus and productivity. More importantly, it is more sustainable and reduces the chances of burnout.

How do you manage your to do list and your energy?

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