To-do lists are great but completed items are quickly replaced with new tasks and they never truly go away. As a reaction we tend to spend our time on smaller, easy to solve problems because they’re require less energy and we can pile them up, which is good for the ego. At the end of the day we review what we completed and the bigger the pile the better we feel. But do all those smaller tasks require action? Be wary of filling your day with small tasks that don’t advance the larger concept.
Try prioritizing items on your to-do list using a scale of 1 to 3. Keep the units of your scale coarse, the finer the scale (example, 1-10) the less meaning the values have. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the difference between 5 and 6? Not much. But on a scale of 1-3 the difference is huge. 1’s need your immediate attention, 2’s will need your attention soon and 3’s aren’t worth your time. Try this with you current list of to-do’s and see how many 2’ and 3’s are draining your time.