Ten Things At A Time

Post By Taras Danylak. Reading time 10 minutes (1,761 words)

People like to be successful. People love to be successful. People desire to be successful with all their hearts and souls. Yet to be successful just wanting, liking, loving or desiring is not enough. The secret to being successful lies in being able to get things done.

No lazy person has ever become rich by sitting around on his butt and hoping for mana from God. Occasionally some undeserving imbecile stumbles across a pot of gold and, having no desire to persevere and make this pot of gold grew quickly, squanders it and ends up right where he started. In order to get ahead in life and become successful you must, I repeat, you must learn how to get things done.

Getting rich is easy. You just have follow a simple three step process. The first step is to learn how to get things done. The second step is to figure out which things need to be done to get rich and become successful. The third step is to repeat step two until you become successful and keep going. In the remainder of this article, I will discuss the process of learning to get things done.

Write it down

If you have been living for at least ten years, you must have heard people tell you to write things down. If you went to school, you've been writing things down for a while. Teachers taught you to read and write for a reason. To be part of our society and have a chance of succeeding in this world you need to know how to read and write. That is a simple fact of life.

We write for two reasons. First, we write to have other people read our stuff. In school we wrote equations, essays and stories. These were read by our teachers and parents. At work we write emails, memos and notes. They are read by our bosses, co-workers and ourselves. If we want others to listen and accept our ideas we write them down and publish them in print or on the web.

The second reason we write has a much more important function. We also write to remember things. In our complicated world, with so many distractions and thousands of information bits thrown at us every day, writing things down is the simplest way to making sure we don't forget.

And here is the most interesting thing about this practice. When we write anything down, we remember it better. We literally create two copies of this information. One is in our mind and the other on paper. Each copy serves as a backup for another, with the paper version remedying any forgetfulness on our mind's part.

Remember, in order to be successful and get things done you must learn how to write these things down. Write about your goals, important concepts, tasks that you need done, or important dates. Go out and get a nice notebook, hard cover preferably, and start writing things down.

Why a nice hard cover notebook? Because you should be carrying it around with you all the time. And its always pleasant to look at something nice, isn't?

Write down your tasks

The importance of writing your tasks down can not be overstated. Many motivational speakers tell their audiences to write down their tasks on paper and check them off when they complete them. Many people try this method and some succeed. But most usually give up after a few days or a week. The resulting consensus is that writing tasks down only works for some people, not everyone. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Writing your tasks down on paper works for everyone one. Most people just do not know how to go about it. Many books try to point their readers in the right direction and tell them what they should do. Yet, they do not show them how to do it.

If you've ever taken a writing class, writers's most famous rule is Show, do not tell. This rule applies to many things in life, especially teaching or instructing. I am going to show you how to write your tasks down and how to go about getting them done.

Ten Tasks A Day

First thing you are going to do is get a piece of paper, a small notebook or a napkin. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you have something to write on.

Get a pen and sit down at a desk. Close your eyes and think of the things that you need to get done that day. Don't write them down yet.

Sort these things in your mind and figure out which ones are the easiest to do. You should have at least four easy things ready to put down on your list.


- Read a chapter of "your favourite book".
- Text someone about an upcoming event
- Email someone about a trivial thing, or respond to an email
- Clean up your cluttered desk
- Copy or print something out

These are the easiest things to do for anyone. They can be done right there and then without much hassle. Write them down even if you were going to do them anyway. It also doesn't matter what order their in. Remember, you must write down at least four easy to do things first. No more then five or six. That is your limit.

Now write anything else that you have thought of. Order is not important. Write a task down even if you are going to do that task during the day as a matter of course. Write it down.


- Clean the apartment
- Write a memo about office procedures
- Get oil changed
- Pick up bread and milk from the store
- Call TV repair guy about an appointment 

Stop after you've reached your ten tasks. If you have more things on your mind, get another piece of paper or turn the page in your notebook and write them down, then go back to your original list of ten things.

Writing only ten things on a task list is a psychological device used by successful people to trick their minds into thinking they've accomplished much that day. Why you may ask? When you get things done you feel good, when you feel good you focus more, when you focus more you figure out a plan to become rich and successful, and when you figure out a plan you begin to do things to become rich and successful.

It's also about making you feel successful. If have ten tasks and you've done five of them by 10am, you're half way through the list. You feel good, accomplished and in control. If you have fifty tasks and you've only done five of them by 10am, you are no where near the half of the list. You will probably feel like its hard to get the list done and you are so far away from the finish line. If, the end of the day, you have nine tasks done out of ten, you will feel like you've had a successful day. If you only completed nine out of fifty by the end of the day that feeling of accomplishment and success will be hard to come by.

How to get things done

This is very simple.

Do the easiest tasks on the list first. Email, call or text someone. Read a chapter of a book or copy something. Usually a your list will consist of four or five easy things and four or five hard ones. Get the easy things done first.

When you look at your list and half of the task have been completed you will feel good about yourself and will want to continue getting things checked off. The feeling of accomplishment will give you that adrenaline shot you need to keep going. It is a great boost to your self-confidence and a small step towards your future success.

Keep Going

Write the things you need to do on a daily basis. Start today, don't wait until tomorrow. Start right now. I will help you.

Write these down.

My First Task List, Feb 8, 2013

  1. Get a piece of Paper or notebook
  2. Get a pen
  3. Write down the task list title
  4. Write down today's date
  5. Copy these first five onto a piece of paper or notebook
  6. Write down four more things you need done by the end of the day

This is your first list. If you had written these tasks down and added four more of your own, you can check off the first six. Congratulations, you are 60% done. Now go and do the last for things.

Repeat every day. When you are at work, you always have things to do. From the simplest task of writing an email to the complicated task of figuring out a marketing strategy, write these tasks down and check them off as you get them done.

If you have things to do on the weekend, write it down as well. Keeping the feeling of accomplishment going through the weekend will give you the needed boost for the next work week. Do this especially if you are starting to make lists, nothing better than to keep the practice going and make it a habit.


To summarize, writing things done makes your mind remember things better and stimulates you into action. Making lists of tasks helps you organize your life and creates a sense of purpose and direction.

When you make lists keep them short, ten tasks per list per day. Write down four or five easy tasks first and then harder ones. Easy things should be something you can do in five or ten minutes at most. Harder things are anything else that's not considered easy.

Always start with the easy things. Get them done and out of the way. Check them off and look at the list. You will feel good about having so many tasks completed. In many cases you will be half way through the list within an hour of making that list. It will make your confidence shoot through the roof. You will feel like you can do anything.


If you keep your tasks in a notebook, you can always leaf through the pages to see how you did and what kind of tasks you've completed. It can serve as a confidence booster when you feel down or without motivation.