Don’t put everything you need to do on your to-do list

Yesterday we created a to-do list.

Today, I’m advocating that you should NOT put everything you need to do on a to do list.


Yes, you heard me right.

Save time and increase brain space by not writing it all down.

Don't put everything on your to-do list | #31timesaversMany time management and productivity professional tell you to start by writing everything down and setting up elaborate systems to track.

This can quickly get overwhelming. Yes, you need to write down all things taking you brain space so that you have a simple checklist to follow.

But what about the to-dos that don’t take up brain space? Things you do automatically. Habits. This are the ones that don’t need to be written down.

The catch: What those automatically completed items (aka habits) are varies from person to person.

Take the ever-popular “Morning Routine.”

Have a morning routine, yes. But the only pieces that need to be written down are the ones you’ll forget and need a reminder to complete.

I’ve read multiple “morning checklist” posts that talk include taking a shower, getting dressed to the shoes, etc.

For me, taking a shower and getting dressed is always going to happen. Writing it down is simply an added step.

Now, if I’m looking to give myself kudos for checking each and every thing off a list, great. But that’s not streamlining my morning and saving time.

Exercising in the other hand, is one that I can never quite find time for. This should go on my to-do list.

Additionally, a to-do list should the essential checklist of things that would cause major issues if not done, and have potential to be forgotten. For my morning routine that includes checking to make sure that I have my wallet and work computer. (I’ve left the house without one or both more than once!)

I have enough other things that need to be done (or that I want to do!) that checking off the habits increases time and complexity.

Need to start using a regular to-do list? Enter your email address below to get the Evernote Weekly To-Do List Template (and other Evernote templates!). The template is a guideline that you can adapt to make effective for you.

What are some essential items on your to-do list? What “normal” items won’t go on your to-do list?

This post is part of 31 Timesaving Tools, Tips & Templates, read the rest of the posts here.  

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