How to Clean Things Off Your To-Do List

If that to-do list is keeping you awake at night- it’s time to clean it up. Simplifying your life in every area is beneficial for your mental and emotional health. Chances are most things on that list could be checked “done” and never thought of again. But, if it’s hard to just let it go,here are some ideas to make it a bit easier.

Adjust Your List

Okay- so this one might be cheating, but don’t tell. The first thing your to-do list needs is a makeover. Grab a completely fresh piece of paper and start over. Label items in the following way. We’ve included examples that might fit into each of these categories:

Urgent/Today:  Send final report, pay bill, pick up Jack, etc
Quick: Text mom, put laundry away,  update worksheet, etc
Sit Down: Email team, write blog, update expense sheet, etc
Offline: Book appointment, read 2 chapters, etc

By organizing your to-do list in a more meaningful way, you’ll be more productive and less stressed. If you only have 10 minutes, check your “Quick”list instead of staring at that hour-long project and deciding you don’t have time to get anything done. Sometimes you’re waiting at carpool and could knockoff items on our “offline” list. Your “urgent/today” list can be the focus of the first part of your day. Hopefully you can see how a simple adjustment cango a long way.  

What’s Not Working?

Is there something you always forget on your list? Or isy our list in a place not easily accessible? If the list isn’t working for you,it’s working against you. And it’s time to fix it. Paper lists might have been working for you the last decade, but are they still the most convenient? Consider adjusting to notes in your phone or a document in Google Drive so you don’t have to worry about having your physical copy. Or, maybe you need the opposite.If having a digital list leads to distractions, go old school. Maybe you’re amore visual person, and one of those pretty planners with stickers will encourage you to check things off. Either way, know what works for you, and what doesn’t and be willing to adjust.


Our final and biggest piece of advice- just take stuff off that list. Be honest with yourself. Do you need to bring a homemade appetizer to the party? Or can a bag of chips and fresh case of guac do the trick? Is there something in your workload you can delegate to a team member? Would it be more reasonable to hire out the house cleaning during your busy season? Remember, you can be constantly adjusting your responsibilities based on your current schedule. If you’re finding several items on your to-do list that never seem to move off of it, get real and see if you can delete them for good.