Delete Everything And Rewrite Your To-Do List

Delete Everything And Rewrite Your To-Do List

It’s easy to let a to-do list get out of hand. If you’re having a little trouble putting everything in order for the week, productivity blog Day-Timer suggests you delete it all and rewrite your to-do list from scratch.

Photo by J.B. Hill.

The idea is that when you force yourself to rewrite your to-do list, you also re-examine your commitments and better judge your time. The process is pretty simple:

  • Spend 5 minutes re-writing a new daily to-do list
  • Start with 3-5 priority tasks you know you can accomplish today
  • Evaluate which tasks must be done and others you’d just like to get done
  • Park the tasks you don’t see doing today on a holding list for another day

When you’re rewriting your to-do list, you should get a better idea of what’s really important. It might seem like a pain to restart your entire list, but hopefully you’ll get rid of any unnecessary tasks clogging up your day and get to the bottom of what really needs to be achieved.

Today’s Productivity Tip: Hit Restart [Day-Timer Blog]


  • I found a daily review on the train ride home works well for me. I take a couple minutes to check off anything I had missed, re-word any next-actions that aren’t working for me and to shuffle the most important tasks towards the top. Less-important todos I will might move altogether to a ‘Someday’ context with a reminder set so I don’t just forget them altogether.

    A good review every now and then is a good way of reassuring your mind that you haven’t forgotten anything and you will be fine if you let the todo’s out of your mind and just focus on the task at hand.

    I think the longer I work with my system and the more confidence I get in it the less often I will want to review it. Now that I am thinking about it my reviews have probably dropped back to every couple days which is cool.

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