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From Loser to Productivity Maestro: How You Can Set Up a To-Do List That Transforms Your Life

I love to-do lists. And there’s a simple reason for it: my life changed because of to-do lists. Sure, there were a lot of other things that I had to do to get from rock bottom to where I am now, but it boils down to the fact that I used to-do lists to help me turn my life around. 

It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I recently made a video sharing my experience, and today, I thought I’d write about it as well.

The loser, the lady, and the wake-up call: where it all began

At the ripe age of twenty-four, I was a loser. It sounds harsh, but that’s the simple reality of it, and reality is often harsh. 

I had no ambition, and I was slowly wasting away – even though I didn’t realise it at the time. And then the plot twist happened: the girl I was seeing dumped me for another guy. 

As much as it sucked, this was the key event that propelled me to realise that I needed to make some changes, and I needed to make them soon.

The magical elixir: to-do lists

Most people who have this epiphany and renewal of motivation to change their lives end up diving head-first into resources to help them better themselves, and I was no different. I consumed self-help books like they were my only source of sustenance. I watched YouTube videos. I researched deep work. 

And voila! It paid off. I found what worked for me: to-do lists. Of course, there are thousands of ways that you can set up to-do lists, but for me, it was a trusty Trello template that helped me plan out every second of my week. 

Checkbox by checkbox, I started to upend my lifestyle and work towards becoming my ideal self. I know, this sounds like any other self-help advice – I’m cringing just reading it. But what can I say? I’m here to share my experience, and that, my friends, was my experience. 

Four life-changing to-do list hacks

Okay, enough blabbering on about how to-do lists were my lifesaver and all that. Let’s get to the point: what did I learn about to-do lists? I want to share this with you, so that you can maybe skip a bunch of steps and dive straight into the good stuff. 

1. templates are your friend

If you need to start your to-do list from scratch each week, it’s going to take you hours – at least, it will if you have as many important tasks on it as I do. At this point, your to-do list will be more of a hindrance than a help, like the friend who thinks they’re being helpful, but is really just getting in your way.

You need to make setting up a to-do list as easy and friction-free as possible. Take the thought out of it. Automate it. In other words, have a template that you can work from. This is especially great if you want to keep track of your recurring tasks, and you’re worried you’ll forget to do a particular task on a specific day. 

If you have certain things that you do on certain days – such as changing your sheets on Sundays, or going to a yoga class on Wednesdays, add them to your template. 

This way, you can just duplicate your template each week and adjust it according to your needs, rather than starting with a blank page. While a written to-do list can be great, they aren’t ideal for duplication, so this is why my digital to-do list is my best friend.

2. Have multiple lists to help you in the future

Breaking down your to-do list into tasks for the day is great, but we’re humans, which means we’re always thinking ahead. You need to have a place to capture all your thoughts about future tasks (because, trust me, you won’t remember them, no matter how hard you try.)

I generally have separate lists for “now”, “next”, “next up” and “later”, but you can create lists in whichever way works for you. The key is simply to have somewhere to store your tasks in order of priority. This way, you won’t ever feel like you have too many tasks to deal with at once. You can focus on your important tasks now, and look over how many tasks you have in the future at a later date. 

3. Replace randomness with strategy

I know it’s easy to add a task to your to-do list and leave it wherever it lands, but that’s not going to help you. Instead, have some type of strategy in place to help you organise your tasks. 

Me? I like to do them in chronological order. This way, I can remember to do things like meditate first thing in the day. But play around with different systems. Maybe you want to order them by priority tasks, or perhaps you want to start with the tasks that you least want to do, or all the tasks that go by the quickest.

4. reflect, reflect, reflect

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not just going through the motions and sticking to the same template or structure you started with just because it’s easy. 

Instead, you need to take some time to reflect each week. What worked? What didn’t? Which tasks did you not tick off . . . and why? Your life is going to change, and you need to make sure that your to-do list adapts.

Another part of reflection is to give yourself a pat on the back! I love having a place in my weekly to-do list where I can write down my previous week’s achievements and give myself the motivation to keep going. It’s like having my own private cheer squad!

forzeit: the to-do list jedi

Remember what I just said about patting yourself on the back? I’m about to do just that. I realised that while there were many to-do list apps out there, they just weren’t cutting it for me. 

I run my own business, and I’m also always on my journey of self-development, so there are a lot of things that go onto my to-do list. I’m serious: I don’t just use it for a big task like a meeting. I also use it to make sure that I take my creatine in the morning, I use it to remind myself to answer emails, I use it to plan my meals and to remind myself to go grocery shopping . . . it’s a hub for my entire life. 

And no to-do list app or software was really cutting it and allowing me to manage my life the way I wanted. 

Enter Forzeit. This is a tool that I designed to help me master my to-do lists. From my personal to-do list to my work to-do list, this is a hub where all my digital to-do lists and important tasks can find a home. It’s broken up into goals, weekly lists, daily dashboards, and more. I’ve even added a fun emoji feature that allows you to filter through certain tasks. 

You can easily duplicate tasks so that you don’t need to keep adding the same daily tasks over and over again. You can add notes to help you batch similar tasks. You can keep track of completed tasks, and stay on top of multiple projects.

And you can be a time lord too! You can sign up to be an alpha tester of Forzeit – which will include a one-to-one consultation with me.


I can admit that there are still a bunch of things that I want to achieve, but looking back, I am miles away from where I used to be, and that’s all thanks to to-do lists.  

I’ve become a healthier, happier version of myself. I’ve bid farewell to my day job and started multiple successful businesses. And sure, I deserve a lot of credit for that – but I also know that having a system in place to help me stay on track was a key element. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Forzeit is calling my name, so I’m off to write (yet another) to-do list.