How many todo lists do you keep?
(You do have one, right?)
While it’s important to keep a todo list, it’s equally important that you keep only one list.
How Many Todo Lists Do You Have?
A common trap when trying to wrangle your tasks is writing down what you need to do in multiple locations.
A todo app on your phone. In an Evernote document. On a pad of paper on your desk. Even on a Post-It note taped to the back of something else.
Multiple lists are not productive. In fact, they can end up costing you time in the long run. All of the duplications and multiple lists will only serve to complicate your time management system.
The results? Lack of priorities. Out-of-sight todos. Forgotten items. Missing todos. Even lost lists.
Instead, be disciplined about keeping all of your todos in one place… and on one list.
One List and One List Only
When you scatter your todos across multiple lists, you will inevitably lose sight of them. As well, it makes it impossible to prioritize your tasks.
The best strategy is to have one todo list.
Before you panic and say, “But, I need multiple lists,” I am talking about using one tool for your todos. Whether on paper or in an app doesn’t matter where you keep you list, as long as you keep all of your todos in a single place.
From there, you can subdivide your list into multiple domains or sub-lists. You can prioritize todos across all of your work.
I keep my one todo list in Wunderlist. I then subdivide it into lists of different domains of my life. I keep it prioritized and always maintain a TODAY list, which is my most pressing todos. So, while I have multiple sub-lists, I keep all of my todos in one place.
Here are some simple tips to help you keep one todo list:
- Choose Tools You’ll Use – What type of todo list should you keep? Paper or app? That depends on you. I always recommend that you “Choose Tools You’ll Use.” In other words, pick the right tool for you based on your preference and skills.
- The Power of 1 – The premise of having only one todo list ties into the larger strategy of having only one tool for each area of your time management. You should have one todo list, one calendar, one notebook, and one address book.
- Subdivide Your List – The point is to keep all of your todos in one place. This doesn’t mean that you can’t subdivide or sort your todos. You should, in order to have a clear picture of what you need to do in each area of your life.
- Prioritize It – One of the benefits of keeping one list is that you can prioritize all of your todos against each other. If you have separate lists, you can’t see the relative important tasks across lists. One list lets you always know your most important tasks.
Keep Your List in One Place
You can track as many todos as you want. However, make sure you keep them in one place.
You’ll always know where your todos are located, and you’ll have only one place to check when you need to know what you need to do next.
Keep one todo list. And one list only.
Question: In how many locations do you keep your todo lists currently?