• Dr Marisa

Is Your ‘To Do’ List Too Long?

Updated: May 12

Who doesn’t love to write a ‘to do’ list – it helps to focus your energies - and we all know that feeling you get when you get to cross a task from your list!

But what happens when your ‘to do list’ starts to get too long?

More and more I am hearing from people that their ‘to do’ lists are getting ridiculously long, especially at this time of year when many businesses are keen to finish projects ready for a fresh start in the new year. The result - feeling swamped and overwhelmed (rather than focused and feeling good).

So, what do you do when your ‘to do’ list starts to get ridiculously long – PRIORITISE!


The matrix below is a simple guide that can help you decide where to focus your energies – based on the information you have and the potential impact of completing the task. In summary:

  1. Separate out the tasks that when completed are likely to have the greatest impact on your business.

  2. From this new list separate out those that you have the information to complete (high info) from those that you need more information to complete (low info).

And there you have it: a more realistic ‘to do’ list before Christmas:

  • Those tasks that require the least amount of effort and the greatest impact (high info, high impact).

  • Those tasks that require more information to complete but are likely to still have a significant impact on the business (collecting this additional information may take some time if it relies on others, so the sooner you set things in motion the better).

As for the rest of those tasks on your original list - you can work on them next year – especially those currently ranked as the lowest priority – low info, low impact !

Figure 1: The Priority Matrix

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