Are the number of tasks on your to-do list overwhelming you? Maybe you’re struggling with time management and don’t know how many tasks per day are realistic? Everyone knows to-do lists and they can be great tools. However, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, maybe your calendar could be a better option…

The problem(s) with to-do lists

To-do lists are familiar and they help people feel productive when they write down their tasks. However, to-do lists aren’t for everyone. Let’s look at a couple of the problems people often have with to-do lists.

  1. They can quickly become overwhelming
    A lengthy to-do list might actually end up harming productivity more than it helps. You become demotivated seeing all the tasks and find it hard to prioritise what to do next.
  2. To-do lists don’t account for time properly
    A to-do list shows you what you need to do but generally makes it hard to visualise how long those items will take to complete. This makes it difficult to compare tasks when you’re prioritising.
  3. Complex tasks are more easily ignored
    When using to-do lists, people generally favour smaller, more enjoyable tasks over larger, more complex tasks. According to The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List, by Bailey Adams of iDoneThis, 41% of to-do list items are never completed.

Your calendar to the rescue

So if to-do lists have the drawbacks described above, how can your calendar do better?

  1. Tasks are less vague
    If you want to schedule a task on your calendar, you’re forced to think about its priority and duration. How long will a particular task take and where can you find time for it between other commitments? Specific tasks are more likely to get done.
  2. Better scheduling
    Because you’re limited by the number of hours in a day and you can visually see how busy you’ll be, you won’t just pile on an unfeasible amount of tasks. By avoiding this overload, you’re more likely to get the scheduled tasks done.
  3. No task gets left behind
    On a calendar, every task has a clearly defined start and end time. This means you do tasks when they’re scheduled and have no excuse to prioritise small, fun tasks over bigger, harder ones.
  4. Reduced context switching
    Since you likely already use a calendar for your appointments or meetings, adding your tasks to it could mean one less app you have to switch between.

There are more benefits, but I invite you to find them out for yourself! If you’re interested in learning how to turn your calendar into your to-do list, check out this YouTube video by Simpletivity.


I’ve recently made the switch from using an actual to-do list to using the calendar view in my to-do list app. It integrates with my work and personal calendars, so all of my events for the day are visible in one place. It’s great because I can see where I have availability for tasks to schedule them appropriately. So far, it’s worked wonders for me. I invite you to try out the same approach. It may be exactly what you’ve been looking for to give you a productivity boost!