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So Much To Do, So Little Time: How to Get Ish Done

We’ve all been there. We have what seems like an impossible amount of things to get done and what seems like no time to do it. Writing a list can help, but sometimes it’s just not enough. So here is a way to prioritize your work and get ish done!


Step one, take a breathe! Close your eyes for ten seconds and just breathe.


Next, make a list of EVERYTHING that must get done. From an essay due next week to putting your socks away. Jot it all down.  


Now, make a three by four grid, and make sure the boxes are large. In the line above the top row, write this: Due Yesterday : Due Tomorrow : Due Later. Along the side, write: Takes 5 minutes: Takes 30 minutes: Takes Hours: Takes Days.


Next step is diving your work into the grid. Washing out the dirty bowl sitting on your desk for a week? That takes about 5 minutes and was due yesterday. Reading a chapter of a book for an in class assignment tomorrow? Half hour, due tomorrow. Fill up the grid until everything on your list has a place on the grid.


Here is your priority list…

  • 5 minutes due YESTERDAY

  • 5 minutes due TOMORROW

  • 30 minutes due YESTERDAY

  • 30 minutes due TOMORROW

  • Hour(s) due YESTERDAY

  • Hour(s) due TOMORROW

  • 5 minutes due LATER

  • 30 minutes due LATER

  • Hour(s) due LATER

  • Days due YESTERDAY

  • Days due TOMORROW

  • Days due LATER


Now, it’s time to go through and get crackin’! If something feels extra important, like a deadline that must be met for credit, then put it to the top of the list. Now, here is the method that helps me, even when I don’t use the entire grid method. What helps me is the 20/10 method. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and during that time solely focus on the task at hand. No phone, no tv, no distractions. Do that until the timer goes off, then take a ten minute break. If you’re on a roll, then continue working for another 20 minutes and then take your break. Or use the 20/5 method if your to-do list is longer than you would like. Work for 20 minutes, then a five minute break.


It may seem impossible, but think about how good it feels to cross things off the list! Take some deep breaths, grab some water, and get ish done!


I am a sophomore at Endicott College majoring in early education!
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