People are obsessed with to do lists. If you do a search in any app store for to do lists you will find dozens of apps. I for one am obsessed with finding the perfect to do list and have several downloaded on my phone and iPad. My next obsession is adding things to my to do list mostly in part for the enjoyment of checking them off and feeling accomplishment. However lately I've struggled with adding more and more things and checking off less and less.
Finally I said enough is enough. I have to figure out how to dominate my to do list and stop allowing it to dominate me. If you're struggling with this also you should try these three simple things. Yes only three because we don't need to add more to do's to trying to defeat our to do list. Honestly if you commit to one of these things you will be better off.
1. Stop over committing. You have to stop adding more to your list when you haven't accomplished one thing. I set a rule for myself with my daily to lists that after I initially make it, I'm not allowed to add something else until I check off at least two things.
2. Don't multitask. As tempting as it is to help productivity, in most cases it really hinders it. Do one thing at a time instead of trying to do several things at once unless they are things like starting your laundry then doing something else while that's happening. Put all your energy into one thing at a time and you will be more focused and efficient opposed to trying to focus your energies into several things at once.
3. Set time limits. Most people work well under pressure. If I know that I only have a certain amount of time to get something accomplished, I'm more likely to bust my butt to get it done. It's also nice because as soon as you finish one thing you know that you can move right to the next and have just a set time before you can move on from that. It helps you get into a rhythm.
Another bonus tip in regards to do list apps, find what works best for you and your workflow. If its more convenient to whip out your phone and check a box then go with the app that makes it most simple. As hard as I try to find the best app, I always come back to writing my lists on paper. My favorite place is in my Moleskine planner. With it I can make a list for the week. On the left side there's each day of the week and on the right it has plain lined paper. Seriously it's perfection.