Mastering the To-Do List
If you're in the planner community, you're no stranger to a to-do list. It's a staple for a reason. A good, organized, well-thought-out to-do list is something I rely upon regularly for a productive day. However, there's a right way and a wrong way to create a to-do list.
Here are a few tips you need to master your to-do list:
Don't Overcomplicate Things To-do lists can quickly become over-complicated and disappointing when you find it's too hard to actually achieve what you've set out to do. It can be easy to sit down and brain dump everything but, often, that can result in burnout. A to-do list is meant to help you to prioritize, provide direction, time management, and help to make small steps towards progress. Start by writing out just a few things you absolutely need to achieve. These are the types of tasks that need your time and attention now. Write them out in the morning, keep your list near you, and make a point of checking your list throughout the day to stay on track.
Prioritize and Use Time Management A to-do list isn't about achieving everything. It's about being productive and efficient with your time. Getting the things done that need to be done. I find it really helps to separate tasks into the need to do's, should do's, and can do's. This system helps to give direction to your day so you know what needs to be done now and what you can push to tomorrow or the next day. Life is ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances can pop up so being flexible is important. Doing this helps to ease the stress and overwhelm of a long to-do list. I really love The Appointed sticky notes for this.
Be Specific Being specific is the key to success here. Rather than write out 'exercise' write 'run for 30 minutes'. Instead of 'eat healthy' write 'make avocado toast for breakfast'. See the difference? Being super specific leaves out room for error and guessing games so when you're faced with the task you're not overwhelmed to make a decision. It's already been done for you.
Focus on One Item at a Time First thing in the morning, before life has gotten too busy and distracting, sit down to write out your to-do list. If you can, focus on one task at a time and revel in the good feelings that come when each box gets checked off. Ah, it's such a good feeling!
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