Internet Productivity

How a “Do It Later” List Can Save You From To-Do List Hell

Saikat Basu 20-03-2018

Time management science has proved that multitasking is not the best way to be productive Single- vs. Multitasking: What's Best for Productivity? Multitasking is a common method to increase productivity. Turns out it's not necessarily the silver bullet for productivity. The key is to know when to multitask. Read More . A crowded to-do list can be mentally draining. So, your next step is simple: narrow your focus to only one thing.


But what do you do about the millions of other tasks calling for your attention? The trick is to keep using your to-do list as is, but with one important tweak.

The Power of a “Do It Later” List

“To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short.”

— Gary Keller, The One Thing

You have a master to-do list filled with immediate tasks. Hopefully, you have sorted them by priority and attached a deadline to each of them. It’s also vital to have another list on the side that helps you clear your mind by removing all the tasks you don’t have the motivation to complete right now.

The “Do It Later” list or the “Perhaps” list fulfills this function.

Trello Calendar for your do-it-later list.

Simply put, it’s a brain dump of ideas and actions that you might want to do someday. Digital tools like Evernote and OneNote can easily help you create a “Do It Later” list. My preferred choice is Trello because of two reasons:

  • You can drag and drop cards within a list to establish priority.
  • You can use the Calendar Power-up to review the “Do It Later” list at a fixed date.

Put each of your do-it-later actions on a Trello list of cards. You can give cards in Trello a due date and if you enable the free Calendar Power Up, you can check the calendar to see what tasks need to be done on specific days.

With the Calendar Power-Up on Trello, you can:

  1. Drag and drop cards between calendar days to quickly change their due date.
  2. Switch between week and month modes for a specific or a bird-eye view of cards.
  3. Click to expand calendar days for a full display of the cards

It’s important to attach a future date to these tasks because you can review them later to see if you are still committed to them. The next step is to bring them (or one of its sub-parts) to your main to-do list or extend their due date.

The “Do It Later” list help you really take your time with an activity and decide if it is worth pursuing now or later.

Related topics: To-Do List, Trello.

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