Put tiny tasks on your to-do list

7 December 2017

I don’t know what I’d without a task list. I’d probably go crazy worrying about forgetting to do stuff.

Over the years of honing my own task lists and also working with clients on their task lists, I’ve come to believe in one important truth If you want to create an effective list—and by that I mean a task list that you actually cross items off of—you need to do this:

Break down all your projects and tasks to their smallest components. Add those tiny tasks to your list one by one.

For example, In the past I would sometimes add an item like, “Catch up on Quickbooks” to my daily task list. That task (really, it’s a project) never got crossed off because large tasks like that are:

  1. so overwhelming I want to avoid it
  2. not specific enough, so I have to put thought into it before getting started
  3. too big to do in one sitting

I now add to my list small tasks like, “Enter unentered checks from register into Quickbooks.” Or “enter deposits.” Neither of those tasks takes long or feels overwhelming, so I’m much more likely to do them.

Another example:

Instead of putting “send out holiday cards” on your task list, break that project down into individual tasks, like:

  • Select photo for card (or get photo taken)
  • Select card
  • Add any new addresses to card list
  • Order card
  • Order stamps
  • Write in five cards, etc.

If you break your large tasks or projects down into tiny components, bite by bite you’ll get them done. Bonus: you get the pleasure of crossing off each task as you go. For a task list that feels doable, rather than stressful, always put small tasks on it.

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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