We love to-do lists, tracking tasks, and keeping an eye on everything that needs to get done. But Jeff Atwood suggests a different approach: every day, ask yourself what three things need to get done, and ditch the other lists.
Atwood's long been against to-do lists, and his three things rule is a pretty solid solution for a lot of us:
Instead, ask yourself this:
What three things do you need to do today?
You should be able to instantly answer this simple question, each day, every day, for the rest of your life. Without any tools other than the brain you were born with.
If you don't have this skill, develop it. Practice, starting today. Right now.
What are you doing right now? Is it going to somehow result in one of those three things getting done today? Will this you get you to where you need to be by the end of the day?
It's a pretty simple idea and if you're finding to-do lists cumbersome or unwieldy, it's an approach worth trying.