How to Crush Your Cluttered Todo List

Happy Unstoppable Sunday! On Sundays, we ask our selves two questions: 1) Where am I? and 2) What do I do next?

This Sunday, I spent some time reflecting on my ToDo list.

I’m a HUGE fan of ToDo lists. I’ve used them since when I was like ONE year old (kind of joking).

The ONE thing I hate about ToDo lists though is that they quickly become a cluttered burden of things that you haven’t done… which leads to me feeling overwhelmed, which leads me to… well you get the picture.

That all changed when I discovered the Eisenhower Matrix.

This simple tool helped me figure out how to take a long flat ToDo list of things that I think I should be doing — to a list of things that are: Urgent + Important, Important but not Urgent, and then two other buckets of things that I think I should be doing but in reality isn’t Important nor Urgent!

Here’s how the Eisenhower Matrix works:

So the next time you’re staring at your ToDo list, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What are the most important and urgent things for me to do?
  2. What are the most important things to do that I have some time to do (they’re not urgent)?
  3. What are the things that I can delegate, because they’re not important but relatively urgent?
  4. What are the things I really should just delete because they’re neither important nor urgent?

We all know that ruthless prioritization is the key to winning in life. It’s the key of living a PROACTIVE life. And yet it’s hard to prioritize when staring at a sea of competing priorities. This simple method consistently allows me to turn a complicated and long ToDo list that I feel uninspired by to a set of ToDos that will have the most impact and deliver those dopamine hits that I crave when crushing my ToDos.

The other thing to remember is that this doesn’t have to be a one-time exercise. I structure my ToDo list application to always have these as “sections” — for my personal ToDos, I use an application called Things, and for team projects, I use an Asana. For both of these, I set up sections for each of these buckets in the Eisenhower Matrix so I can easily group my ToDos and focus on the right things.

This simple way of prioritizing my ToDos has helped me reach unparalleled amounts of productivity in both my personal and professional life. It kills the clutter from my life and my mind, and it helps me articulate and evaluate what is important — ALL crucial steps in ensuring I am being PROACTIVE in my life.




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