Writing an Effective To-Do List

June 23, 2015

I don't know about you, but I cannot get through a day without referring to my to-do list. What started as small scribbles on my hand have evolved into long lists in my notebook, that (hopefully!) by the end of the day are ticked, highlighted, or crossed off. Now, I think I have mastered the art of making effective to-do lists.

1. Important things on top.
I know I began my to-do lists in an unproductive manner - important things were somehow at the bottom, and the smaller things were at the top. By the end of the day, I hadn't accomplished the serious stuff I wanted to. By placing the important bits at the top of the list, you make sure the serious stuff is out of the way. "Walk the dog" may need to take priority over "laundry", depending on your day schedule. If by the end of the day you don't end up walking the dog, you feel as though nothing was done! By doing the things that require more attention, you make sure you feel accomplished by the end of the day.

2. Highlight, highlight, highlight!
... And highlight some more! By highlighting the things you've done, it makes you feel better about doing things. You're able to visually see what it is that you've done, not to mention having a very pretty page by the end of it.

3. List in Advance.
I usually plan my to-do lists the day before things need to be done. But, I also write up things I need done a month before, and six months before. this may seem excessive, but i do like making sure I don't miss out on something important. There's nothing like being on the brink of slumber, and realising you haven't finished off one other thing. When listing in advance, I use my phone, and physical calendar to do this. Then, I set reminders for 1 week in advance just to cover all the bases. This way, I remember what I need to!

4. List on the go.
Honestly, there are no limits as to how often you need to amend your to-do list. Personally, I cover all the bases the night before, and rarely add anything onto my current list (if I do, I use the notes section on my phone). But, and it is inevitable, you may forget to add something onto your to do list. So, your to-do list becomes more effective by you adding bits in that you feel need to be on there as the arise.

5. One task at a time. 
To do lists are meant to make your life easier, not even more difficult! Make sure you complete one task at a time, unless you're absolutely convinced you can kill two birds with one stone. By completing one task, you save yourself from being sucked in with a lot of things to do all at once. Do one task at a time and watch your productivity increase! 

I'll see you in the next one!

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