Simplify Your ToDo List With Now & Next

It’s Monday in my world. Ready to start my week off right. This means I will walk into the office with a list of “tasks that must get done.” Today is no exception.

If you’re anything like me, a list of tasks (more than five) can appear daunting. This is especially true if the list contains items I can’t accomplish in one sitting. They’re just too big and require a lot of time. If that’s the case, I’ve learned it’s probably best to label those as projects which I need to break down into more manageable (think accomplish-able) tasks. Now my list of tasks just got longer.

A task list is a plan. It’s good to have a plan, it’s even better to get stuff done.

With that in mind, I want to focus on two specific tasks throughout my day:

1. I want to know and act on what I need to do NOW.
2. I want to know and prepare for what I need to do NEXT.

Act on NOW

Now represents this present moment. The task that needs to be done in the NOW may be something I’ve planned for or it may be something that’s come up. Whichever it is, I want to know what…it…is. Most people get tripped up (including me) in their productivity because they don’t know what they should be doing, right now, in the present moment. A lot of time is wasted not knowing.

Prepare for NEXT

I really start to feel the productive mojo when I can move quickly from what I’m working on NOW to what I know I need to do NEXT. The thing to remember here is NEXT is only one thing…just like what you’re working on NOW is one thing. If we look at the next five to ten things we have to do NEXT, we’ll become paralyzed by the overwhelming sense we can’t get it all done.

So let’s simplify your To-Do list.
What is the one thing you need to be doing right now?
What is the one thing you need to do next?

Repeat.

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