5: 7 Tips to Make a Better To Do List

5: 7 Tips to Make a Better To Do List

Episode 05: 7 tips to making a better to do list (or maybe 8 steps)

1. Verb it. Make it an action list. –

2. Time it.

  • Guestimate the amount of time it will take.

  • Wearing a watch with a timer function is highly recommended.

3. Schedule it

  • Make it an appointment on your calendar.

4. Draw it.

  • Picture it. Add icons

5. Capture everything.

  •  BUT only focus on 2-3 tasks per day
  • If you think it, capture it then.
  • If you tell yourself you will remember that, YOU’RE LYING TO YOURSELF!
  • Add all details needed for that item to the list
  • Brain Dump
    • Mind Mapping simple mind+
    • Use voice input with Location based reminders – Siri & Google Now

6. Tasks take less then 30 minutes. If it’s more than 30 minutes it’s a project.

  • Things that are NOT to do items
    • Paint the House, Buy a car, Clean the House, Write a report, CreatePresentation
  • Things that ARE to do items
    • Purchase the Paint, Create a list of cars I want to look at, Clean the upstairs bathroom,
      • Break it down more – Scrub Toilets, Clean Bath, Clean Shower, Clean Mirror, Clean Counter)
    • Shameless self-promotinal example: Go to iTunes give ADHD reWired a reView and a 5 star rating.
    • Apps: Check Mark and Todoist have subtasks Text Editor
    • The text editor I mentioned: WriteRoom

7. Mix it up- Develop a toolbox of to do systems.

  • Uses Just one, then rotate it when you’ve noticed you have not been using it.
  • Make it shiny again
  • Change the alarm sounds (App Alarmed)
  • Do something to increase novelty

8. Set Reminders to look at your reminders –

  • Set alarms to visit the list several times a day
  • New reminder system? Set reminders about the new system

Other thoughts…

  • It’s not just ADHD, Nobody ever gets through their to do list.
  • Give yourself permission to occasionally purge items from your list of it has been there for way too long.
  • Brian King Podcast“You don’t want to be normal to, you want to be effective.”
  • You can do anything, but not everything – David Allen

Recommended Apps

Writeroom – Mac (Distraction Free) Text Editor



Check Mark

simple mind+ Iphone Simple MInd+ iPad   Simple Mind+ Mac

Books Mentioned on this episode

ADD Friendly Ways to Organize your life by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen Nadeau, PhD.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity

Use my affiliate link for your favorite titles:

ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability Groups (ArC)

New Sessions Start 4 times per year. Registration is by invitation only. Please visit to learn more.  Click the button at to get added to the invite list.  

Adult Study Hall (ASH) Membership Community

Join ADHD reWired’s virtual co-working community. ASH 24/7 is always open. We have a variety of faciliated sessions for extra structure in your work. Learn more at

Support the Podcast on Patreon

Patreon allows listeners like you to support content creators like me. Want ad-free episodes? It’s only $5 per month. Want to join a monthly coaching call? It’s only $25 per month.  Learn more at

ADHD reWired Facebook Group:

If you would like to apply to join the ADHD reWired Secret Facebook group, go to and fill out the application.

Live Q  & A

Get your ADHD questions answered live! These Q&A sessions take place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 12:30 PM CT. Go to

Want to be a guest?

Hey! What about you? Do you have a story? Are you a coach? Are you an ADHD Clinician? If you answered yes to any of these questions and you’d like to be a guest, schedule a pre-interview call here.

2 thoughts on “5: 7 Tips to Make a Better To Do List”

  1. This is a super interesting collection of tips – I hadn’t realized that what works well for people with ADHD is also pretty much recommended for everyone! What you wrote sounds a lot like the GTD method. I actually wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to it a while ago, if you’d like to take a look!


Leave a Comment

Subscribe for Email Updates

I’ve got some great tools and strategies I’d love to share with you. I’ll also share with you new podcast episodes with a summary of the episode.