Say Goodbye to the To-Do List: How to Create Your Personal Priority List

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to come home at the end of the day feeling satisfied, successful and happy? I know that can feel impossible to obtain because many of us feel overwhelmed with all the things we have to do each and every day, but I want to tell you about a system that will help.

When you’re feeling like you’ve always got a lot to do and the list never seems to go away, you may want to consider that your to-do is it is the culprit. It’s great that you’re planning out your days and writing tasks down so you don’t forget, but what happens when you can’t get to all those items?

I’ve created a system that is tried and true and has helped my team and I complete tasks at work and at home. It’s not a to-do list you need to make – it’s the Priority List you need to create for yourself.

I go over this in depth in episode 033 of Productivity Paradox, so listen there for more information. But I want to go over that episode now and review the key points and tips I’ve given.

What is NEW The Priority List?


Your Priority List should replace your to-do list so that you can stay organized, but even more importantly, you’ll be able to work on the things that really matter to you – that push you toward a goal.

I want you to think of a goal you have in mind right now. It could be big or small. It could be for work, like a promotion or to complete a big project with your team. It could be at home, such as remodeling a room, and it could be in your personal life, like taking a class or working out consistently.

Whatever it is, this is what you should use the Important section for your current life goals.


Learn About the Three Priority Levels:


  • Immediate: Important and Urgent
    • You don’t want to spend all your time here because you’re working from an urgent, defensive place.
    • Examples might be a term paper with an eminent deadline, an email from your boss that requires you to work quickly on changes to a project, or your car breaking down.
  • Important: Important and Non Urgent
    • This is where you want to spend the majority of your time. These are tasks that are important because they work towards fulfilling your long term goals or your mission and they don’t have a pressing deadline.
    • Examples of priority two tasks include creating a budget plan, taking a course to improve yourself, working on long-term projects.
  • Insignificant: Unimportant and Urgent
    • We want to spend as little time as possible in this tier. These tasks are still loud and urgent to finish but they don’t really help you focus on your mission or end goals.

Let’s Get Started TODAY with Your New Priority List


See how different the new Priority List is than just a regular blank page for you to write on? I’ve organized it in our new liveWELL Daily Planner so that you have nine spaces under Important and four spaces under Immediate and Insignificant.

Learn why to-do lists don't work. Discover the new Priority List and how to create one for your life and priorities.

You don’t want these two levels to have more items under them than what’s actually important to you. That’s why many people don’t complete their goals and deadlines… they’re letting other tasks gets in the way.

I wanted to make sure that this system was easy to implement and took no more time than a regular to-do list.

If you’re unsure about creating your own priority list, ask yourself a few questions:

  • If I’m not taking care of the most important things to me, why am I so busy?
  • When you think about what matters to you, are you really spending time on those things? Why aren’t you spending time on those things, if you’re not?
  • What do you really want to do with your time?

When you have your priorities in mind, it makes it much easier to cut through the noise and clutter. And because there is so much noise and so much clutter, having that priority is like having a lighthouse. It shines bright and you know just where it is you want to go, and this is where the priority list really shines its brightest.

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton