Want to get things done? Roll some dice. This simple technique helps beat decision paralysis and add a little more fun to your to-do list.


The Dice and Doing system has three steps:

1. List things you need or want to do.

2. Number that list.

3. Roll an appropriate die.


Rather than making you prioritize and choose, the dice help you rapidly figure out what to do. After the initial work of making the list, you can rest your executive function.

If you don’t have your own dice, there are many excellent online rollers and dice apps available. I do recommend getting physical dice if possible, since they’re more satisfying to roll and are available in many styles to suit your personal taste.


Since many tasks have an obvious priority level, Dice and Doing is not likely to be your main productivity method. It is useful for when you have tasks of similar priority, particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed or avoiding your tasks.


If you hate the result you get, don’t make yourself do it. Figure out why you hate it, and change it accordingly. Maybe you need to break it down into simpler steps, put on a podcast for a boring task, or throw out the task altogether. Whatever you do, don’t leave the option the same: either edit or remove the entry.

To make rolling more compelling, consider adding a treat or two. For instance, if you have twenty items, rolling a natural twenty could have the task “Eat a piece of chocolate.”


Rather than having some very long tasks, set a specific time limit. I like to work in fifteen minutes sessions, with five minute breaks, in an adaptation of the Pomodoro method. Once you hit that time limit, take a moment to reassess. Is this something you could finish in a few sessions, or is it a marathon project that might be better served by short, frequent sessions? Take a break, then either return to the project or reroll for a new one.

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