Modern*Simplicity

Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Simplified To-Do List: 3 Most Important Things

Here’s a simple habit that can help you prioritize what you need to do each day. Try making a list of your Three Most Important Things for the day. Every day, write down three things you must accomplish. These are the three things you must do before going to bed — anything else you get done is gravy. It’s a lot less overwhelming than staring at a long to-do list each day, and it’s a good way to break down big tasks into smaller ones. Tasks can range from a few minutes to complete to longer, more involved projects, depending on the day’s schedule.

I keep one regular running to-do list using Wunderlist, and I differentiate my Three Things by using the star feature that highlights high priority. Each night, I look at my to-do list and choose my Three Things for the next day. That’s it. I must do those three things, but I don’t *have* to do anything else.

Some people may find it helpful to write their Three Things on a different list entirely so that they only see those Three Things. I like to keep an overview of what I want to do handy, so using the high priority star works for me to define my Three Things.

Every day, do your three most important things, whatever they may be. When you’re done, if you’ve got the time and motivation, check the rest of your to-do list and work on that. If not, that’s OK. You did your three most important things. Grab a drink and go relax.

7 Replies

  1. This was very helpful! I’m going to give it a try…surely I can tackle just three things a day and not be overwhelmed! 🙂 Thanks!

  2. sandy

    You’re welcome Maryl! Let me know how it works for you!

  3. Great idea, Sandy! I used to this too. I forgot what my term for it was called, but it was the same idea. Hope this inspires some folks! 🙂

  4. Trying this starting today! I keep a running to do list on my phone but it’s overwhelming prioritizing which things to do on which day. I like the idea of picking three, I think it will help me be more productive with my time.

  5. sandy

    Thanks Vincent!

    Alyssa — let me know how it works for you — it definitely helps me focus!

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