Your to-do list probably fills up pretty quickly. When the things on your list get overwhelming, motivation starts to drop. Combat this by picking the three most important items and giving them their own top priority list.
Photo by John Schultz
Managing your to-do list is a practical problem. Keeping your motivation up, however, is a psychological problem. Breaking down your to-do list into the three most important things you need to do that day not only helps keep your list from becoming overwhelming, but it also naturally causes you to get the most important things done. As personal finance blog The College Investor explains:
If you're looking to build momentum, stick to no more than three activities to focus on. This will help you keep your goals attainable, and not let you get burned out. A long list is daunting and impractical...
For example, if you're going to pay down debt, keep it simple:
- Create a Budget Template
- Identify $50 You Can Commit To Your Debt
- Make Your Debt Payment
Start small. Once you've mastered that routine, you can re-make a new list with different items to help you get to your goals.
The original post focuses on how this applies to budgeting, but it can work anywhere. Whether you're trying to get a handle on your workday, planning a new project, or preparing for a trip, focusing on the three most important things will give you enough momentum to get started. Then you can come back for the rest.