Tame The To-Do List Monster

How Does This Happen?

As a solopreneur, you perform many tasks to run your business, plus you encounter lots of options, ideas, and possibilities. Most seem like good ideas, so you add them to the list. 

A To-Do List is supposed to be a list of action items; things that you want to get done or that need to get done. The monster grows when you begin to add possibilities to investigate, concepts to explore and projects for the future.

This long mix of actual to-do’s along with other opportunities and ideas can feel discouraging and overwhelming.  It’s time to stop feeding the monster.

Divide and Conquer

Tame the monster by separating to-do items from everything else. Gather all your lists including handwritten lists, online task manager, even post-it notes on your desk. 

  1. Place each item on one of the two lists using the table on the next page.
  2. The Focus List is your real to-do list and can include routine work, client work, current projects.
  3. The Idea Garden is made up of things you want to do, books you want to read, new business initiatives, and training you’d like to take. 

Tame The To-Do List Monster

Focus List

Idea Garden


The Effective Focus List

For each item on your Focus List make sure you know:

  1. The specific action to take.
  2. How you will know when the task is complete. 
  3. Which of your goals this work supports. 

Use this list to create a Daily Plan.

Daily Planning

It’s important to plan your schedule for each day. You can do this at the end of the previous day so you’re ready to work in the morning. 

Tame The To-Do List Monster

Start with your Daily Top 3 

List the three most important tasks that need to be done today.

It can be helpful to complete your Top 3 first. You will also have meetings, client work as well as basic tasks like email and administrative items. 

Set a specific time slot for each item in your Daily Plan

Now that you have tamed the monster, you can approach each day with confidence that you can make progress in the most important areas. 

Use your Idea List to save new opportunities and once your existing projects are completed, you can choose a new idea to pursue.

Next Steps

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