Snowballing: How to tackle a To-Do list

One way to complete a To-Do list is to tackle the most important task first. This assumes that if you finish this one item but fail to finish anything else, you’ll still get a lot done.

In theory, that probably is the best path. In practice, though, it doesn’t usually work as well for me.

Instead, I focus on knocking stuff off the list. I do the easiest, quickest thing first and then work my way up. I snowball.

I know, I know. This ignores all the advice about being proactive instead of reactive. I get that. For me, that doesn’t matter so much, most of the time, and here’s why.

  • If I try to tackle the biggest, hardest, scariest thing first while all the other items are on the list, I get overwhelmed. So I procrastinate.
  • If I instead start with the easier items and work my way up, I can build momentum. I think we underestimate momentum, at least I do.

I’m actually borrowing Snowballing from Dave Ramsey. He realizes that in a perfect world procrastination doesn’t exist, so perfect world solutions rarely work best.

Snowballing, to me, isn’t a perfect world solution. It just works.