Ready for a Simple Productivity Hack?

Street with light streaks

It’s back-to-the-basics, almost too simple. Easy to scoff at, but actually quite powerful.

It’s very simple:

Have a piece of paper at your desk with a list of things you will do on your next work day.

ONLY the things you will do ON THAT DAY.

Then, commit to getting them done.

Attached is a picture of mine. In the interest of saving trees, I used the same piece of paper twice: once yesterday and again today.

To-do list with items crossed out.

Yes, I still have long-term tasks stored in my task app.

But the piece of paper has everything that I must get done today.

As the day draws to a close and other tasks come up, I add them to the sheet for the next day.

There’s something about having a list RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU that keeps those priority tasks top-of-mind.

And there’s something cathartic about crossing them off with a pen. Not digitally, but in the actual action of picking up a pen and crossing them off.

This is such a simple hack that most people will dismiss it outright. But I can tell you right now it is extremely effective.

Very talented and accomplished leaders like Michael Lopp and Taylor Welch work from lists.

Try it.

Sometimes, old school is still the cool school.

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