Today, I’m going to share how by creating a master to-do list will help get those pesky to do’s out of your head so they stop trying to vie for your attention.   



Show of hands, who feels like they have too much to do and not enough time to get it all done?  Yeah, me too!  

As a mom, wife, soccer coach to my 9-year-old daughter’s team, business owner, and Vice President for Dan Tudor and his company, I certainly am never at a loss for things to do.

When it comes to making sure everything gets done, it can be a tough balancing act.  That’s one of the reasons setting priorities is so important, so we can focus on the areas that matter most to us or will make the biggest impact for our programs.  But that’s only half the problem.  

The other side of that is that there are still all these things that we need or want to do, and they’re floating around in our heads.  All that mental clutter tries to draw our attention to it and soon we find ourselves feeling very scattered.  That’s where having a master to-do list can come in really handy.

One of my favorite ways to tame a scattered brain that I do daily is using a brain dump.  

A brain dump is a great way to clear away internal clutter.  Doing a brain dump is good, but there is something that will take your organization of your daily tasks to a new level.  

Today, I’m going to share how by creating a master to-do list will help get those pesky to do’s out of your head so they stop trying to vie for your attention.


A master to-do list is simply a list where you keep track of everything you need to do.  You can make this as simple or as complex as you like and as your needs require.  I prefer to keep a few different master lists for the different areas of my life, but I know many people who use a single notebook and just add to the list as things pop in their heads.

Check out this YouTube video I made about how to use a master to-do list specific for your program


  1. Use it as a structured brain dump.  Sometimes a regular brain dump just isn’t enough to clear my head.  For me, this usually signifies that I am in need of a little more structure.  So I’ll add things to my master to do list, or even create an entirely new one.   I take the time to think about what I’m writing on the list, sometimes I add in a time frame for how long I think a task will take, other times I take a few minutes to color code them or highlight groups of tasks that seem to go together.  This kind of master list, for me, stays on my desk or in my planner for a week or two and then gets tossed into the recycle bin.  Before I toss it, I go through it and jot down any remaining items that I feel are important onto my other master to do lists.
  2. To keep a running list of tasks or jobs that need to completed.  This master list is one that I will keep in my planner and pull out when I have some free time or when I’m sitting down to plan out my month.  When something comes up that needs my attention or if I notice something that needs to be done around the house, I write it down on these lists.   I keep different lists for different areas of my life so that I can prioritize and spread out the tasks.  These lists won’t find their way into my recycle bin until everything is crossed off them or I’ve transferred all the undone items to a new list.

The biggest difference between a master to-do list and a brain dump is intention.  By creating a master to-do list, you’re saying to yourself that these things are important and need your attention.  You are creating a plan to deal with them, even if all you’ve done right now is make a list.  On the other hand, a brain dump is just designed to get things out of your head so you can stop worrying about them.

For me, a brain dump usually comes before I create or add to my master lists.  I usually wait a day or two and then go through what I wrote and add items onto my master to-do list where they fit.  I try to make sure that I’m not overloading my lists with a bunch of things to do, rather I try to choose what is important or urgent and forget about the rest.

At the beginning of each month, I sit down with my lists and see if there are any seasonal tasks that need attention that month.  Then I pick at least one item from each life area and schedule a day to get it done.  Throughout the month when I have some free time or I’m in the mood to tackle something in a certain area, I pull out my list and see what I can do.

Because I use my master to-do list as part of my planning process and refer to it throughout the month it has helped create this internal understanding that if I put something on that list I’m not going to just forget about it, unlike with a brain dump.  

This tool can really help to keep your thoughts less scattered and allow you to focus more on the things that need your attention.

If you want to see my Coach specific master to-do list, click here. No need to opt-in. 

Again, if you want more training on how to use it, go to this video. 

To your success,

Mandy Green

P.S. If you are looking to get help creating social media or other content to share with your recruits, check out this 365 topic prompt calendar I created.  It is made for social media but you can use it for just day to day conversations with recruits so you never run out of things to say. 

P.P.S. If you want my guided help day by by with planning for success, check out this planner.  There are simple prompts that will walk you through how to prioritize, eliminate unnecessary things, and leverage the time that you have each and every day.