How to Get Things Done without a To Do List


How to Get Things Done without a To Do List

I have to admit it for years and still on occasion I have used a To-Do List. I wrote it on paper with a pen, I wrote it on paper with a pencil so I could make changes. I wrote it in a MS Word document to make it easy to edit, I wrote it in an email and sent it to me so I would not lose it BUT no matter how many ways I wrote it at the end of the day it was often longer than at the beginning and I felt exhausted.

Now I am working on using a different approach.

I it my ‘O’ list (Nothing to do with Oprah). O makes it sound important and it is. It is the list of Outcomes I want to see happen in a particular day. It may be 2 or 3 instead of 10 or 20 To-Dos and it defines the Results, the Outcomes I need to see happen to reach a goal I want to have achieved that day. (This could also simply be a necessary step I need to take that day to keep me on my path to a particular long term goal.)

Now what is the different between a ‘To-Do List” and my ‘O’ List?

The ‘O’ List is shorter, five or less items, 3 appears to be the best number and there are actions steps that lead to the result but the actions steps can change.


I am going to spend time with one of my children, this can take many forms of activities.

I am going to share time with my lovely lady, also lots of options, I am not considering it a ‘To-Do List” item to be with her. It is just I want to take that time.

I am going to contact one company about an event proposal.

I am going to spend one hour of creating an educational article for you as a reader of my work.

I am going to work my 9 to 5 job as best I can so I can learn skills I can use in a future business.

If I can look back on the day and I have those outcomes reached. It is a great day.


See if using a more concise ‘O’ List as against a ‘To-Do List” helps you feel like you had a more fulfilling day.

Important: Only actions that contribute to your long term happiness and fulfillment go on the ‘O’ List.

You should be able to write your ‘O’ List on a small piece of paper like a Post-it and put in a place you will see it all day.

All the best,


P.S. My recommended book of the day that I am current reading to learn more about things that are impacting this world is The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

This is my copy, to show I am recommending a book I am really reading : )

I will write a full review soon.