Keep Your Habits and Your To-Dos Separate

I am a long-time fan of Todoist, and have been happily using the premium version for the past few years.

To me, Todoist is the perfect blend of minimalist and clean design, with the right feature set that suits exactly what I need.

Naturally, I was tempted to put everything into Todoist: from my long-term goals, random thoughts, to even my reoccurring habits that I like to track.

Within a few weeks of doing this though, I noticed that my daily to-do lists would gradually get bigger. I would look at my to-do list and feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start.

I have found in my experience that the following paradox is true:

The less items on your to-do list, the more you get done. The more items on your to-do list, the less you get done.

The feeling of being overwhelmed with tasks and not knowing where to start is a real productivity killer.

And so the solution that I implemented was to keep my habits and my to-dos separate. Rather than having tasks in Todoist for things such as meditating, stretching, or reading, I would track these habits elsewhere.

I would also try and keep my to-do list down to around a dozen tasks every day, and would try to be as pragmatic as possible on what I can reasonably get done in a day.

After a while, I noticed that my productivity increased, and that I would feel less overwhelmed throughout the day.

Whenever I find that I start to pile unnecessary tasks into Todoist, I take a few steps back and pare away the excess tasks.

Also published on Medium