Streamline the to-do list: divide & conquer

The usual to-do list is a conglomeration of urgent tasks (buy milk!), not-so-urgent (sew button on shirt), and hopes & dreams (weekend in Paris.)

If your list runneth over, you can divide it into time segments: today, this week, this month, and someday. Preferably, you will write those items within the next week in your planner, assigning them a certain time to happen.

Some people like to sort it into a grid of urgent/ not urgent, important/ not important, to clarify to themselves what they should be working on. (That would be urgent & important, in case you weren’t sure.)


I find a very helpful technique is to list chores according to type, or where they will happen: on the computer, on the phone, in the car, or around the house. Once you have your email open, it’s fairly easy to answer several messages at once; if you’re sitting by the phone, it’s easy to make another call, and if you’re in the car, one more stop along the way is not such a big deal.

Sometimes this is the secret to crossing off a few chores rather than just one.

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