Strategies to Simplify: Tip 4: The Master To-Do List

“Work simply. Live fully.”  This week CMLE focuses on the following work productivity tip from Work Simply, Carson Tate’s popular book.  At CMLE, we’ve boiled down Tate’s wealth of knowledge from Work Simply to a few key points; please see the book for more detail and resources. At the bottom, see links to earlier tips in the series! Let’s all be our best selves….

This week’s activity: Consolidate your to-do lists into one Master Task List

To get all your to-dos in one place, first you need to perform a “brain dump,” in which you think about everything you need to get done, both at work and in your personal life. In Work Simply, Carson Tate describes this process as “Turning your brain upside down and emptying its contents.”  Then, if you have noticed that your list contains more projects than simple tasks, work to create attainable next steps that aren’t so overwhelming. Finally, keep this list in one place for easy and constant reference.

Recently, you discovered your Productivity Style with a simple assessment.

Work Simply

Find your Productivity Style for some personalized tools to manage your Master List:

Prioritizer: Try using ruled or lined paper. Some apps that may be useful to you include iDoneThis, which sends out e-mail reminders asking what tasks you have completed.

Planner: You may like using calendars, or Outlook’s task manager. Also try out Wunderlist, an app that allows you to keep all your to-dos in one place, and includes due dates and reminders.

Arranger: Try using Stickies, or the app Carrot, which takes a to-do list to the next level – earn points for completing tasks and get praised (or scolded!) for how many tasks you complete.

Visualizer: Whiteboards or unlined notebooks may work well for you, or try Personal Brain, a mind-mapping tool that works on both PCs and Macs, which links ideas, documents, and sites based on the way you think.

Previous tips in this series