Although Wunderlist is a very simple task management system, it has a few core tools that can really help you get more out of it. One of the core aspects is the ability to “star” a task and so set it as a priority. By default, this will bring it to the top of its project list and add it to a special starred list. So not only does it stand out within the list which it is on (helping you to notice the important next action), but you can also create a list of tasks which you must get done today.
This list helps you to avoid distractions from other items on your todo list and really focus on what your essential tasks are. There can be a bit of crossover if you add due dates to tasks which will then appear in a list for “today.” However, I still find that these two list provide different functions. The starred list become my “important and urgent” and the today list become my “urgent” list. This way I can still prioritise my workload, but I can also keep a track of the urgent tasks as well and separate them from the important tasks.
A Couple of Tricks to Make Your Star List More Effective
1. Star items the night before
Before you stop work for the day, go over your todo list and priorities your items. This means you can hit the ground running the next day (if that expression doesn’t translate for Americans, you can get off to a flying start) and not waste anytime prioritising.
2. Review your star list in the morning
When you wake up, look at the starred list, this helps you focus on the essentials for the day.
3. Don’t add too many items
It can be tempting to add hundreds of items to your priority list or star every task for the next day, but this dilutes its effectiveness. As soon as you say there are two things you have to do instead of one, you add an element of decision making (which should I do now, do I have the tools, etc) if you increase that to 10, then it becomes much worse. I recommend trying to limit yourself to a maximum of three things. The human brain likes things in threes and remembers them well, and it’s usually a good balance between not too few or too many.
Remember you also have your today list which you can use to bear in mind all the things you need to do today.