How to get through your to-do list when other things always pop-up

By Charlotte Björsjö

How to get through your to-do list when other things always pop-up

You arrive to work and you have a list of things you simply must do, but once you get to your desk tonnes of emails wants your full attention. All of a sudden the work day is over—you achieved a lot of things—but no tasks on your list. What do you do?

Maybe you can stay for a couple of hours to complete them, but you might have other plans or you need to pick up your child. Let me present to you some alternative solutions. 

First of all: Do you have several lists? Oh no! Then you need to start to create one list and one list only! When that is done continue with my suggested tips below.

How to remember your to-do list:

  1. Is the list on paper? Put your list on your keyboard (literally) before you leave work—then you actively need to move the list to start using your computer next time.
  2. To-do list online? Make sure that your browser automatically starts with your list as soon as you start the computer.
  3. Outlook list function? Make sure this it is the home view and not the inbox.

All of above will remind you of your list and reminders make you prioritise them.


Now you know how to remember the one list—but how do you finalise all tasks? 

  1. Make sure you have an empty inbox, then you don’t feel stressed that you missed something
  2. If your list is long, prioritise within your list and start with the tasks that are quick to implement and/or has the nearest deadline (check out the Eisenhower Matrix if you want to learn more how to prioritise in your list).
  3. Plan your list—are there some tasks you can move into the future or delegate to others? Be realistic. :)
  4. Book time in your calendar to complete your tasks. Shut down the mail, put the phone with the display down and, if possible, sit in a room where you cannot be disturbed.
  5. Book email time in your calendar to go through emails. That way you will not be stressed by your inbox.

And don’t forget, when you are done with a task mark it as done. That creates the greatest feelings of them all.

What do you do to work through your to-do list? Please share any tricks and tips below.

Talk to an expert

Charlotte Björsjö
Charlotte has been a project manager since 2014. She gets excited about Kanban and loves Trello.
Keep me updated!
Please set a blog tag to enable Related blog posts