Deleting To-Dos with extreme prejudice

Note: Day 5 of the #Trust30 initiative.

It’s funny that I keep forgetting that there are 2 ways to cross things off your to-do list. Yes, one of them is to Get Stuff Done, and I’m a big fan of that.

But it’s actually more important to Not Get The Wrong Stuff Done.

The prompt from the Trust30 initiative is based on what you’d do with a week left in your life. In that case, I’d probably create an entirely new list. But as it is, I have the luxury of a larger time budget, and am going to try to accomplish more than I would with a week left to live.

This week, my focus is going to be to take my big to-do list and run them against the “internal compass” I’ve set forward for myself according to these goals:

1.) Make time to let my family know they’re special to me.

2.) Become a better programmer.

3.) Improve my health & get in running shape.

4.) Make my workplace a better place to be.

It’s easy to work extra hard to clear stuff off your plate. But people will never, ever stop dumping things on your plate. My goal for this week is to pick and choose the items that reflect my internal goals.

I don’t know exactly how yet, but I’m trying to learn to separate “wheat from chaff” and mercilessly terminate the rest of my to-dos without looking back.

No, it’s not perfect, but life is literally too short to worry about “clearing your plate” every day.

  • http://blogs.softartisans.com Claire

    I completely agree. I get antsy when big things linger on my list–but often it’s because I’ve been too distracted by the little ones. You’ve inspired me to do some cross-checking of my own!

    • Anonymous

      My strategy this week is to let the items in Basecamp go so stale I have no choice but to delete them. Not the best… but still effective.