How To Do a To-Do List in Three Steps

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as drawing a line through a task on your to-do list.

To-do lists come in all shapes and sizes and for various reasons. It could be the classic, “Honey-Do list” or the organization of your daily tasks at work. Whatever the case, I’m here to show you that you might have been creating your to-do list wrong all along.

In the beginning, I was all about writing every minute detail in my notebook. By doing this, my list got exponentially larger as the day went on. As the list grew larger, so did my level of panic. Until I realized, “Maybe I’m doing this all wrong, do I really need to write down every last waking task that’ll take me two seconds to complete?”

With this thought in my mind, I went back and looked at my notebook and realized, a lot of my daily tasks were nothing but fluff.

Here are three tips to get you started on revamping your to-do list.

Quality over quantity

This old adage remains true. Some people, myself included, feel a sense of accomplishment when we cross things off our list. It’s this idea that likely led me to have a list as long as an ancient scroll. By flooding my list with low-quality items, I was more than likely wasting time on things that really didn’t need that much attention. Wasting time on menial tasks opens us up to be less effective at our jobs. Next time, sit down and take a moment to really think of the high-priority items that need to be accomplished without question. For me, right next to my to-do list, I write a list of three main priorities that need to be accomplished either that day or in the very near future. Setting these tasks aside helps me to visualize the importance of accomplishing these items.

Proactive not reactive

Don’t wait until the morning to write down your to-do list. At this point, you’ll be in a tizzy and hurriedly racking your brain to figure out what the heck needs done. Rather, before you head home for the night and close up shop, take a few minutes to outline the next day. By doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of what tasks need to be completed in order to stay on pace and meet your deadlines. Having your to-do list completed the day before will help you hit the ground running the next morning.

Just do it

We’re all procrastinators from time to time. This is especially true when we continually write the same task over and over again and tell ourselves, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” I do it, and you likely do it, too. But, let’s stop that behavior right in its tracks. It’s time to do that special task that we’ve characterized as the bane of our existence. Sometimes you have to stop thinking about doing it and just do it because that’s the only way it’ll get done – whoa, so meta.

I hope that these three tips will get you starting on making a better to-do list. What are some ways that you prioritize your tasks? Leave a comment!

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