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How “Top 3” Daily To-do Lists Changed My Productivity

I am the queen of to-do lists. THE queen. My brain is an ancient and dusty library of scrolls and scrolls of to-do lists. But I realized that for all the items on my list, only a fraction were actually getting ticked off. When was the last time you actually completed 10 separate things on a day where you also had class or work during the day? I’m not sure I ever have.

When I ran across this idea, I thought I’d give it a try to see if it would actually make any difference. I’ve been doing it since the beginning of 2019 and I definitely think it has shifted my perspective when it comes to productivity.

How "Top 3" To-do Lists Changed My Productivity | Lots of Lora

How It Works

It’s a fairly self-explanatory process, but basically you choose three things each day that are MOST important for you to get done. I actually found a planner that includes a “top 3” box at the top of each individual day. The layout of this planner is different than anything I’ve ever used before, but I really like how the top 3 is already built in for me.

What if I have more than three things to get done?

This was my main question when deciding to try this. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the things I had to do by only writing down three a day, even if I was really only completing three a day. To make sure I don’t forget anything, I make a master to-do list for the week in my notebook. I put homework, blog, household, and administrative things like emails, making calls, or appointments on this list. Each day I pick my top three off of this list and put them into my actual planner. This way, I can keep track of everything and if I happen to finish all of my top three’s, I can go to the master list to keep the productivity rolling!

How is this different than other to-do lists?

This method encompasses so much more than simply picking three items a day. That’s only the surface. The way this works is that it shifts your focus and the way you perceive your productivity.. It’s overwhelming to have a long (and impossible) to-do list. It makes you feel like you are never caught up, like you were never productive enough. Firstly, it makes you feel so much better about your productivity when you are actually able to complete your list. Three is much more attainable than ten. Secondly, when your goal for that day is to complete just these three things, it changes the way you focus on those tasks. You are not rushing through because the other seven items are looming over your head. I’ve found that the things that I complete using this method are of a higher quality and I enjoy them more. I am present. I love school and hate getting stressed out about it. This method helps me to focus on the part I actually love – learning.

Have you given this a try? Do you have another method that you think works even better? Share with me in the comments or on instagram (@lotsoflora), I’d love to hear from you!

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