Best Way To Make Progress Every Day? Tackling The To-Do List!

by Jacque Gonzales



Do you ever run into stumbling blocks when you have a lot on your “To-Do” list? I certainly have, and I’m working on revving up my “get-up-and-go” by making a VERY SIMPLE list of baby steps to get some progress made! I’m a “List Maker” – and I’m not very good at it. I’ll start writing down things I need to do – and pretty soon I’ve filled the entire page and I’m scribbling in little notes into every free space I can find. What happens next? Rather than feel inspired I feel OVERWHELMED!

The simple solution is to not write so much down, but when my brain starts to dump all the bits of minutiae in my head – it’s a FLOOD! There’s GOOD & BAD to this habit. GOOD, because I may start triggering reminders of forgotten things that need to be made a priority … and BAD, because every “reminder” adds to a feeling that the list cannot be accomplished and insecurity can set in.

In my quest to finally say “ENOUGH” of this list making drama – I’ve started to research better ways to “organize my brain” and not cause any overwhelming panic!Here’s where I’m starting my journey to get myself better organized and actually tackle the “To-Do” list items at the right time.I bought a new 5 Subject notebook and I’m going to assign a “time-frame” to each section. Now I do need to exert some brain power to truly know the best time frame to assign each task so that everything is spread out in manageable chunks. The word “Chunks” also makes me think of chocolate – which I think is a just reward when I complete a “Chunk” Of tasks, don’t you?

Now writing down everything – even in sections – still can be overwhelming when you see it! I kept searching online for tips to be more productive and came across a really interesting suggestion that’s 100 years old!It’s called the “Ivy Lee Method” and it’s seems WAAAAAAAAY TOO EASY. The “Ivy Lee Method” came about in 1918, when the President of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation wanted to find a way to help his team become more efficient. He brought in a productivity consultant named Ivy Lee, and it was a success! Read the fascinating story: “THE IVY LEE METHOD”

The “Ivy Lee Method” is simply making a list of ONLY 6 things you want to accomplish the next day, written in the order of importance to be completed. You start at the first item and follow it through to completion before you can move on to the next task on the list. It sounds so simple, almost too simple, but if it’s worked well for so many people during the past 100 years – I think I should give it a try, don’t you? But I don’t like the number 6, can I make it 5 or 7??? I know, I shouldn’t mess with the “Method”!!!



  1. At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. Tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the next day.
  5. Repeat this process each day.

Ok, I’m going to write down my first “Ivy Lee Method” list for tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it goes! Who wants to give this a try with me?  Or do you have a different suggestion for tackling the dreaded “To Do” list???  Post your comments below!

Wish me luck!

💜 Jacque

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John McGeorge July 30, 2019 - 2:47 AM

Just came across this again, and found a second reading interesting. I still like making lists, and I find them useful inasmuch as, on a daily basis, there’s not a lot I “have to” get done. So if I get the few essentials out of the way as soon as possible, that lets me spend more time on what I want to do.

Marianne Sgrillo July 9, 2018 - 3:01 AM

This idea sounds good I make lists and sometimes I get overwhelmed by them and sometimes I actually accomplish some of the things on the list. I want to get my house together and get it up for sale. I want to move I want to downsize and I no longer want to own a home. So maybe small steps can turn into larger steps I’ll try anything.

John McGeorge July 9, 2018 - 1:17 AM

Also love making lists. It sounds like a workable idea. Maybe try it out and adapt as needed? Good luck!

Sandra Wolvin July 8, 2018 - 11:45 PM

Love this idea Jacque!! Not complicated at all!! Thank you ☺️ seems like there is so much stress, you need more like your way.:) Blessings and a 🤗 too.

Cheryl July 8, 2018 - 11:35 PM

I am definitely a list maker. My husband and daughter hate that I sometimes make lists for them too. I find it’s the BEST way of accomplishing things – and getting things you need done (husband, daughter 🙂 ). The funny thing is I just found out that I have been utilizing this “Ivy Lee Method” for many years – but I thought it was the “Cheryl method” lol. Whatever I don’t get to – just goes to the next day. And what a feeling of accomplishment when you get to check each item off!! Good Luck!

Donna Wendling July 8, 2018 - 11:28 PM

That’s a great idea. I make a list & it’s usually has so much in it I can’t get it all accomplished & I feel defeated. Then I back slide because I didn’t accomplish anything. I’m going to try this. Keep us posted on your progress.

b reed July 8, 2018 - 10:05 PM

“what do you have to say?” well to start, it sounds exactly like me. but you already know that !!! LOL. i love this idea ! i too, am a list maker. the six items sounds good, but i think it depends how significant the project is. i will do this and when i stop typing here i am making a list. and i expect you to do that too !!!! but add a few to the list, like take a break and have an iced tea, laugh, smile at your progress. i think is important and for me necessary to reward myself for a job well done. my rewards are the ice cold drink etc. i am proud of you for making this a priority and i wish you much success ! YOU CAN DO THIS AND YOU WILL !!!


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