How to Power Up Your To-Do List

What’s your excuse for not getting stuff done?

Maybe you have too many things on your plate and don’t know where to start.

Maybe everything seems urgent and important so you feel like you need to do 10 things at once.

Maybe you rewrite your to-do list over and over, without actually buckling down and doing the work.

In today’s video, we’re going to power up your to-do list so you can reach your goals faster with less stress.

You’ll be making noticeable progress on all the things that are truly important in your life and business. Let’s go!

The video transcript is below for your convenience.

Video Transcript

Hey there! I’m Sage Grayson, and I help ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home. I’m a Life Editor…and so are you!

Today, we’re going to power up your to-do list so you can reach your goals faster with less stress. Let’s go!

Most of the women I work with have a lot of their plates. Besides their careers, they might have families, personal hobbies, household duties, friendships, and a million other things pulling them in all directions.

And at the end of the day, they’ll plop down on the couch and think, “I was busy all day but I didn’t get anything done!”

It can certainly feel that way if you’re wasting your time doing non-urgent administrative things and putting out fires. How can you get back on track and make noticeable progress on your goals?

You know, the things you truly care about?

Well, the good news is it’s not you. You’re not broken.

It’s your to-do list! It’s sabotaging you, and you don’t even realize it!

Here’s how you can edit your to-do list to become a powered-up productivity superhero!

Do a Brain Dump

Get out a notebook and turn to a fresh sheet of paper. Write down everything that’s taking up space inside your mind.

Seriously. Everything. Everything. Everything.

All your business tasks, the errands you need to run, the phone calls you need to make, the bills you need to pay, the parties you’re planning, the self-care you never have time for, checking social media, any everything you can possibly think of.

Your brain dump many be 10 pages long or more! That’s OK. Keep adding to it as you think of other things you need to do.

This huge brain dump is called your Master To-Do List.

Some of you are probably very familiar with having a massive to-do list sitting on your desk judging you all the time.

But a Master To-Do List is not the to-do list you work from in your daily life. We’ll get to that.

Choose Your Top 3 Goals

Really take some time to sit quietly by yourself without any distractions and think about what your top goals are in your life. Consider your personal interests, your business, your health, your relationships, your finances, and more.

What are your 3 top goals?

You can’t choose 3 for each category. Sometimes in life you gotta make the tough decisions and admit that certain areas of your life are going to take precedence over others. And these priorities will change throughout your life.

But right now, in this time, what are your top 3 goals?

Let’s say you choose losing weight, making money in your business, and spending time with your family.

Write those 3 goals at the top of your Master To-Do List.

Determine Which Tasks Lead to Those Goals

Go through your Master To-Do List and highlight or circle any task that is directly related to one or more of your 3 top goals.

Planning your meals for the week directly leads to you losing weight. Sending an invoice directly leads to you earning money through your business. And making family dinners non-negotiable leads to you spending more time with your loved ones.

If you seem to be trying to convince yourself that something leads to one of your goals, then it’s not truly important.

Yes, sharing a link to your latest blog post on Facebook might seem like it’s helping your business, but there are many, many steps in between someone seeing that on Facebook and then pulling out their credit card and paying you.

Be honest with yourself! Can you call watching a movie together “quality family time” if you’re not talking, not looking at each other, and staring at a screen?

Write 3 Daily Tasks on a Separate Piece of Paper

Here’s where people get tripped up.

You DO NOT work from your Master To-Do List.

If you have a list of 100 things to do, you’re never going to get through them all, and then you’ll feel defeated at the end of the day.

That’s no way to keep your motivation up.

Instead, look at all the highlighted or circled tasks on your Master To-Do List that directly lead to your goals. Choose 3 tasks and write them on a separate piece of paper away from the Master To-Do List.

As you go about your day, only refer to this paper with the 3 tasks. Ignore everything else that tries to pull your attention away.

Do Those 3 High-Priority Tasks First

Just think how much more excited you’ll feel at the beginning of the day when you only have to focus on 3 little to-do items.

Do those 3 things before you do anything else. Ignore your email, ignore the TV, ignore your phone, ignore your chatty coworker, and ignore the Master To-Do List.

When you complete those 3 tasks, you’ll feel exhilarated! You’ll feel so accomplished and productive! You did it!

If you want, you can go back to your Master To-Do List and choose 3 more tasks. But why not give yourself some time to enjoy your victory?

You’ll realize that you did 3 things that actually got you closer to your goals today. And you didn’t get overwhelmed or distracted.

Now you’re using your to-do list like a professional. Nothin’ to it!

If you like this video, please come on over to and sign up for my Editor’s Toolkit. You’ll get weekly updates from me, plus sage advice I only share in email.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you soon.

This post focuses on Step 4 of the Life Editing Process, Rearrange Everything Into a Perfect Flow. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Dana Lynn Thompson on December 15, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I really, really, triple really need to get better at this for 2016. I start out with good intentions of making to do lists and prioritizing what I need to do to reach my goals, but then after a few weeks I abandon the process. I KNOW I waste a ton of time doing things that aren’t a productive use of my time. At the end of the year I wind up wondering what I did with all my time. This coming year I want to see concrete progress. I need lists and deadlines to keep me on track. I love the idea of picking a top 3. I’m sure I’m also guilty of trying to do too much! Thanks Sage!

  2. Sara on December 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

    A powered-up productivity superhero? Yes, please!

    This is such great advice, Sage. The brain dump alone relieves a lot of stress for me. I like to look at the items on it and allocate some of them as ‘Not-to-Do’ items. It is amazing how many tasks I take on that are not mine to complete. A top 3 is manageable and motivating.