How to Write To Do Lists That Make You Better At Life

I have a love/hate relationship with The Fabulous App. The app seeks to coach you to a better you by building daily habits. I recommend it.

You’ve probably come across the Aristotle quote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” The app seems to work under that philosophy and for that reason I love it. It sends you letters to motivate you. It gives you a program of key life changing habits. And it does have an excellent positive effect.  I was absolutely rocking it out. But…


But there’s two things. One is that you seem to only be able to plug in the same habits for every single day. So if you have a workout routine that has you take days off, then it wouldn’t work. You would be dropping goals by missing days.

What if you just want to take Sundays off? What if other life commitments prevent me from reading on Thursday evenings? It always washes away your progress and you start at square one. Which I guess shouldn’t be a big deal in terms of living my best life, however the way the app is set up you feel like you’re working towards something.

To Do Lists on Fabulous

The other issue is with the To Do lists. Who would have thought writing a simple To Do List would be so complicated? I had heard of these mystical to do lists that people write every morning. I have read they are a critical component to living a better life.

The app got me started with them, for which I am grateful because to do lists truly do lever you to greater productivity and a better you.

You should write a To Do list every morning. They also recommend making a big list and then picking the three most important things.

Sounds simple right?

What happened to me was that every single day my list looked like this:

1.Write 2. Go to work 3. Laundry

Not only could I not think of many other things that really needed getting done in the day, it seemed kind of pointless to just keep writing the same things over and over again.

So combine my inability to write a good To Do List with my frustrations with the rigidness of the app’s schedule, I gradually just stopped using it. Do I still basically do the habits? Basically, yeah. Am I still as hardcore about it? No, but I’d like to be.

How to write To Do Lists

I’m ready to get back on the horse with Fabulous but I couldn’t until I figured out To Do Lists. This is how I’ve adapted To Do Lists. It deviates from what Fabulous prescribes but I think will work better for me.

1. In sight, in mind

The power behind To Do Lists lies in they put the things that can be put off right in front of your nose. And once they’re in front of you every day, you stand a much better chance of getting them done more quickly and efficiently.

What’s more, when you’re in the habit of writing down To Do items you will think of entirely new things you could accomplish that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.

2. Think about the next two months

Write down everything that needs to get done. For example, I keep putting off lunch with my brother. I need to sort out which key opens the furnace room. I need to set up social media for this blog. I need to buy socks. Pay the bills. I need to call the phone company and the power company and see if they can stagger the bills better to align with my pay dates.

The more you think about it, the more stuff you realize you could be doing. It’s stuff that just kind of accumulates in a ‘Someday’ file in the mind where you can put off. A To Do list pulls it out of the Someday file, and puts it on the table.

2b. Instead of regular chores, think of one off tasks that need eventually getting done and treat them like goals.

3. Pick one thing

Out of your daily routine, you can fit in one thing from your list to get done.

The Fabulous app recommends picking your Top 3 but my life isn’t so dynamic all time. Rather than tasks, which became repetitive, I sought out one-off tasks and treated them like goals. Hmm. That sounds like a header. Let’s put that in a big font. But before number 3. We’ll call it 2b.

So I recommend thinking about everything you could do over a longer stretch of time, and by listing it, you force yourself to get it done.



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