A simple tool to reduce overwhelm & achieve more each day

During times of change or uncertainty, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by a seemingly endless to-do list. There's a tendency to veer towards simpler tasks while the crucial ones loom large and ignored. To navigate this, inspired by "sprint planning" from my giffgaff days, I’ve created a daily routine to help reduce overwhelm and improve productivity.

The concept: Fix time.

Prioritize and confine efforts within a set timeframe, focusing on what's doable, instead of stretching deadlines. This model sparks productivity by addressing three fundamental queries:

  • Time: I ensure that I’ve blocked out time for the tasks.
  • Scope: I define 'done' as good enough—this ensures I complete the core of the task, avoiding unnecessary perfectionism or fussing over details.
  • Resources: I make sure I have all the essential tools and information I need – this reduces pointless “how to” YouTube spirals.

I applied this to a recent DIY task – painting my bathroom: I checked I had the paint/brushes and I allocated 2 hours to paint the ceiling with an undercoat. This prevented me from ending up strolling the aisles of B&Q looking for paint colours!


Here's how I weave it into my day:

  1. Set: I identify three must-do items as part of my morning ritual.
  2. Reflect: I make sure I’m clear on the time allocation, the scope, and have the things I need.
  3. Check: A noon reminder gives me a nudge – I can get back on track if I've veered too far off.
  4. Review: A quick reflection at the end of the day, what's done and what's not — and why.


Give it a go:

If you're wrestling with the desire to juggle it all, consider this sprint-like strategy. Designed to give you more clarity to get the necessary things done. Tomorrow's the day to start: select three key tasks, set your alerts, and embrace your newfound focus.

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