Create a Top 5 List

posted by Andrea | 04/15/2011

I am a huge fan of list making!

I love having a plan for the upcoming hours, days, weeks and even months…it makes me feel organized and productive!

These lists give me a chance to relax, concentrate on the most important things, prevent lots of wasted time, and even allow for more free time when my list is complete. Although things don’t always work out as planned, and everything on the list isn’t always complete, it’s still nice to feel like I am organized and ready to go.

However, when I have SO many things to do or I’m struggling to stay focused, I find that it’s helpful to create a Top 5 List.

What is a Top 5 List?

It’s a list of your top 5 MOST important tasks right now.

  • What are the most important things for you to accomplish TODAY?
  • What are your most pressing deadlines?
  • What are you most stressed about?
  • What has to get done, no matter what?

These items should go on your top 5 list.

NOTE: Don’t go crazy — There’s a reason it’s called a Top 5 and not a Top 50!  Limit your list to the 5 MOST important tasks and finish those before you make another list.

Create Your Top 5 List:

  1. Grab a pad of paper and a pen
  2. Take a few minutes to write your Top 5 List
  3. Each night, before you go to bed, make your Top 5 List for the next day. I guarantee you will sleep better!

OK, so I’ve made my Top 5 List for today and I’m ready to get to work… wish me luck!

What’s on your Top 5 List today?

Filed under: WorkProductivityGoalsBusiness 101

Leave a comment


  1. sweta


    Hi Andrea Love your blog.. your an inspiration to me .. thank you for sharing 🙂


  2. Priyanka


    Andrea, first, let me tell you how much I love your site. Love the idea of making a top 5 list every night. I am a list lover too.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! Glad to have another “list lover” over here!!


  3. Amy Talsma


    I have read (and learned lots!) from your posts on time management, etc… you have an amazing blog!! Question for you… with your ‘paperless 2012’ goal, I assume you use an electronic calendar/planner? I’ve heard Google calendar is good… what have you found works best for you?


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Amy!
    Yes, I’m trying to go as paperless as possible, but I DO still use a small paper planner that fits in my purse. I’ve tried using calendars on my phone and/or computer, but they just don’t work as well for me.
    You can see the exact planner I use here.
    Hope this helps!


  4. Suzanne


    That is a GREAT reminder, especially the night before. I will sometimes wake up, mid-night, and be thinking about what I forgot to write down. It will also help put focus on the day!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Suzanne, I often keep a pen and pad of paper right next to my bed so if I do think of something in the middle of the night, I can just quickly write it down and go back to sleep!
    This has come in handy more times than I can count 🙂