Creating a to-do list has been a part of my daily life for ten years. I like to start my day by making my list. It governs my thoughts and attracts me because it gives me direction for the day. When I skip my to-do list, I tend to get much less work done because I don’t know where to begin. On the flip side, there have been times when my to-do list was so immense that I didn’t know where to start. That’s when I discovered the power of five.
Checkmarks don’t equal getting the work done.
Every day, I used to fill nearly an entire side of a notepad with things I “needed” to complete. I’d sit down and think up every possible task I thought needed to be achieved and write it down. For whatever reason, a longer list made me feel safe. It made me feel like I had a lot to do. The trouble was, it was too much.
The first thing I began noticing was that about half of my to-do list was filled with rote activities: washing dishes, brushing my teeth, doing laundry. These were everyday daily tasks, yet they passed my to-do list. By eliminating those from my list, I quickly learned that I could promptly reduce it by half, if not more. Sure, checking those things off my list every day felt good (because it looked like I’d achieved something), but was it indispensable? No. I quickly realized the only thing I was performing was doing more work for myself.
How I made my to-do Burger list?
Since I prefer food over everything else, I was determined to take a distinct approach to make my worklist. I decided to develop a “burger” of task lists, one that would be more doable. I was somewhat worried about paring down my lists to such shorter ones. It felt wrong, but I gave it a try anyhow.
I discovered that by reducing my lists, I started getting more done than ever before. The shorter my plans, the more productive I became.
Here’s how the To-Do List Burger Method works:
- Bread- Hardest, most time-consuming task
- Lettuce- 15-30 minute task
- Ground Meat- Next-to-hardest task
- Mayo- 10-15 minute task
- Bread- Simplest task
First, create a shortened to-do list. Then, start with the most complex or lengthy task. Next, follow up with a quick job that requires little to no energy. Move on to the next challenging or time-consuming task, and follow it with another short, brief lesson. Finally, finish the to-do Burger list with an extra simple task.