to do list

How to hack your to-do list for motivation and productivity

Whether you’re a part of a self-managed team or a team that’s been thrown into the routine of working from home, this article will help you amp up your performance. 

Today we’re talking about how to hack your to-do list for added motivation and productivity. You don’t need any fancy-pants software or robust tech to put these strategies into action, so you can let out a big sigh of relief before reading further. We’ve got you.

Without any further rambling, let’s get on with the show.


How to hack your to-do list for motivation


Hack #1: The ‘Tah-Dah’ List

While you may be thinking ‘What on earth is a tah-dah?’ and ‘How did I end up on this questionable side of the internet?’ we urge you to keep reading. Seriously, this strategy is going to be a game-changer for your mood and motivation levels.

The Tah-Dah list is a simple principle that you can apply every day to your never-ending to-do list.

Here’s how you make it happen:

Step One: When you sit down to write your to-do list for the day, leave a few lines of space for 2-3 items from your ‘tah-dah’ list.

Step Two: Write down 2-3 items in your ‘tah-dah’ list – things that you’ve already completed during your morning preparations or things that you’re right on the verge of completing.

Step Three: Once you’ve done your tah-dahs, tick them off. Ahhh, satisfying right?

See – simples! 

This method is tried and true – in fact, it’s actually a method used by one of our very own PT crew members, Kym. 

to do list

Otherwise known as ‘KD’, Kym is our Creative Lead and is responsible for most of the beautiful graphics you’ll see across our socials, on our website and oh… and in our bespoke team development programs

When you’re juggling all of that you’ve got to have a rocking to-do list method, right? 



Hack #2: The Egg Timer or ‘Pomodoro’ Technique

You’ve got a clock app on your phone, right? Let’s make use of it by programming it to help you make the most out of your workday. 

The Pomodoro method was coined by Francesco Cirillo in the 90’s as a method for improving concentration and overall productivity. Using a Pomodoro or Tomato-shaped timer, Francesco would break his big tasks or projects into small windows of focused time; otherwise known as ‘sprints’.

To follow the Pomodoro method it’s recommended that you break your tasks down into short 25 minute sprints with a 5 minute break in between, but for many of us this timeframe just isn’t long enough to see meaningful progress.

Instead, try breaking your to-do list down into 45-60 minute ‘sprints’ and set a timer to begin each sprint. You may break your entire workday into 5-6 dedicated sprints. Use your sprints to crank out as much focused energy as you can, being careful to focus on one task at a time rather than multi-tasking.

P.S If you have a habit of wandering tabs (it happens to the best of us) use the Block Site chrome extension to blacklist websites like Facebook and Pinterest during your sprints.



How to hack your to-do list for productivity


Hack #1: The Popcorn Method

Feeling a bit cooped up? That’s what staying at home all day will eventually make you feel. It’s natural. A good way to combat this feeling while boosting productivity is to use the Popcorn method

Like a bag of popcorn you’ll ‘pop up’ from your seat and move to a different area of the house to do different tasks. 

Your daily routine following the Popcorn method might look something like this:

Morning Sprint – At Home Office – 9:00am-11:30am

Afternoon Sprint – Outdoor Seating Area – 12:30pm-2:30pm

Evening Sprint – Kitchen Table – 2:30pm-5:00pm

Pretty straightforward, right?

The only caveat we’ll share is this: avoid working from your couch and your bed

Yeaaah we know, it’s super comfy and cosy, but if you start working from these ‘home’ spaces you’ll go to rest and relax at the end of the day and find that you suddenly start thinking about work. That’s because you’ll have programmed your brain to associate that space with work. Don’t do it! Pretend the couch is lava if you must!

Another great reason to avoid the couch? According to postural alignment specialist, Ameet Bhakta, sitting on the sofa to do work on your computer will lead you to slump and form bad postural habits over time. Bad posture quickly turns into back pain, and back pain…well…I think you get the gist.



Hack #2: The Wellbeing Break

Going for a walk around the house, making a cuppa and doing a quick stretch aren’t just ‘nice to do’ things – they’re crucial to your wellbeing and mental health. Prioritise these wellbeing breaks like your workplace performance depends on them, because in all honesty, it kinda does. 

You can use apps and use your timer to remind you of these wellness breaks too, but don’t make it too tech’d up. Your body will tell you when it needs a break, it’s smart like that.

‘Listen’ out for when you are starting to feel:

  • Restless
  • Bored
  • Thirsty
  • Tired
  • Demotivated
  • Fidgety

These are all signs that you need to get up and do something else, even if it’s just for ten minutes.


Did you enjoy these tips? Be sure to share them with your colleagues and LinkedIn connections. We’ll make you look like an absolute rockstar, guaranteed.