The best way to sort your todos.

What is the best order for my next-actions?

How can I build a habit to keep my list up to date?

Previously we discussed the how to stop prioritizing your task list. One main point was to stop reordering. Sorting is another way of ordering:

Instead of sorting your list, focus on getting tasks done

Free yourself from micromanaging the task order:

Task sorting harms your productivity

In my introduction to stress-productivity attendees use all kinds of todo list software. Practitioners often get distracted by the options the software offers.

Fancy todo list software enables you to set the sorting of your tasks. Some apps even let you manually rearrange the order of your tasks. For many years I too was putting a lot of effort into the structure of my lists…

Today, I consider sorting or scheduling of tasks as a waste of time. Overorganizing your list keeps you from being productive, as soon as you lack the time for the required overhead.

Shuffle, the safeguard against the temptation of task sorting

I noticed that I started to ignore the bottom tasks of longer lists. This gave me the idea that initially might seem crazy: Ensure that tasks do not get ignored by randomly reordering the tasks.

Shuffling tasks in DoNext helped me to go through my list from top to bottom more often. I started to pick only the newer tasks in a list less often. Considering the full list helps to identify tasks which are stuck on the list longer. Shuffle was a small change in my workflow with two advantages:

  • Less effort needed for reviews since shuffle helps me to keep lists up to date. Less reviewing means more time to get things done.

  • Aid to build the productivity habit. Not being able to ignore tasks on the bottom of the list helps to constantly read through the whole task list.

Experiment with ignoring the order of tasks

Experience how your lists can move faster, once you ignore the order of tasks.

Try it now:

  • Identify your task lists which you sorted manually before. Sorted lists might have some older tasks. Clean up old tasks to keep your list on track.

  • When deciding what to do next read through all the tasks. Do not only pick the tasks from the top of the list.

  • If you are looking for a new task list app, try DoNext. Next-actions are shuffled automatically each time to switch between lists. Sorting your tasks belongs to the past.


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