How To Make a To-Do List To Stay Productive & Get Things Done
The To-do list is an effective tool to manage our tasks which helps us remember the essential tasks that need to be completed by a particular time.
With a to-do list, you can easily list down all your daily life tasks and can keep track of it.
Creating an effective to-do list is a great first step!
You can look at it, can check whatever you need to do at what time.
If you have a tendency of forgetting important things or you find yourself procrastinating a lot, you should try using it!
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to make a to-do list to stay productive and get things done quickly!
How To Make a To-Do List To Stay Productive & Get Things Done?
Not all people follow on lists. But, if you are facing problems in making sense of your goals, a to-do list can surely save a lot of your time.
It’s not so challenging to create a professional to-do list, let’s start making it!
- Choose a Format
- Make it a Day Before
- Check Your Resources
- Create Separate Lists
- Use Smart Apps
- Make Multiple Lists
- Put Tasks, not Goals
- Make it Simple
- Add Clear Details
- Follow the Most Important Tasks First
- Begin With the Easiest
- Divide it Down
- Don’t miss the: “To-Don’t list”
- Don’t Miss Time
- Share With Others
- Don’t Get Confused
- Dig the Old Tasks
- Renew Everyday
- Don’t Forget Your To-Do List
Choose a Format
To-do lists come in different formats, it’s all up to your choice and your comfort zone.
According to some researchers, writing things by hand helps us remember them better, however, if you are not comfortable with the pen and papers, there’s nothing to be worried about: There’re a range of digital applications that can help you make a To-do list.
People often like to add different highlights to their tasks, which help them to categorize their list. These things are possible in both paper and digital To-do lists.
Choose whichever methods suit you best, but make sure your To-do list should be professional so your mind can focus on the tasks listed in it.
Make it a Day Before
Do you think that you can complete your task on the same day you plan it?
It’s, of course, a risky decision!
For example, you write in the list that you have to wash your car today, can you ensure that you can complete this task just the day you’ve planned it?
Remember that there’s not only a single task that you have to do in a day; there are many others as well, which may interfere with each other.
So, the best option is to make your To-do list a day before to stay productive the next day!
Check Your Resources
What if you have mentioned in the list to wash your car, and you go for doing that task, and suddenly you realize you don’t have a washing foam.
What will you do then?
Of course, you’ll fail to do your task on time.
This usually happens when you forget to arrange the resources that are required to accomplish a certain task.
That is, not only you need to write the tasks on the list, but also the things that are required to complete them.
Solution: Always mention the things that you need to make the tasks performed.
Create Separate Lists
If you only keep a single list for everything, it could be very confusing.
Experts say to first think about the tasks and organize each into a relevant list.
For your household tasks, make a separate list with a proper heading, and just like that, make another list for your office work.
You don’t need to use different papers, simply add the headings and list down the tasks.
Use Smart Apps
Smart applications have made things easier for us in real life.
There are plenty of free apps that you can use to create an active To-do list.
Not only will those apps let you create the lists, but they will also keep on reminding you about the tasks until you finish them and the ones you forgot to do.
Therefore, take the benefits of technology to create a smart To-do list and stay productive.
Make Multiple Lists
Professional To-do lists are not as simple as you think they are!
They have different types that help you categorize your tasks.
Make multiple lists of things that you want to do.
Here are some best practices!
1. Master List
It comes under the category of long-term goals. If you want to leave for a new country, plan to start a business, want to move to a new house, simply add these types of goals into the master list.
2. Weekly Project List
In this one, you can add everything that needs to be completed in the next seven days.
If you need to pay your electricity bills, have to complete your weekly assignments, put them all in here.
3. High Priority Task List
All the important tasks should be added to this category!
For example, you need to wish your sibling for their birthday, want to purchase groceries, or have to complete a presentation for tomorrow’s meeting.
These three lists effectively manage your daily life tasks! Fill and check them daily, update them, and follow them to complete your goals at the right time.
Put Tasks, not Goals
Are you supposed to add your goals to the To-do list?
The answer is NEGATIVE!
To-do list is used to write down your daily life tasks other than your goals, which are far complicated and takes time to complete.
Goals are usually broad and take a lot of time to complete. They are generally difficult to achieve.
An example is “Learning to code”: Putting that on your list wouldn’t be very useful.
However, you can surely add “watching Coding tutorials for 1 hour” into your To-do list!
Once again, don’t forget that a To-do list is to list down your daily life tasks and not your long-term goals!
Make it Simple
To-do lists are not your memoir diary; they are to remind you about the essential things in your daily life.
You are creating a list to make your life easier, so creating a long and complicated list may cause distractions.
The best way to keep your list simple is to make a list of things you want to do today and divide it in half.
Complete your listed tasks before the next day!
There shouldn’t be more than ten items left on the list. The others can go on the weekly project or the master list.
Add Clear Details
For every task on the list, write all the possible information to make them straightforward.
If you add a bit of detail in your task, you’ll not only be able to understand them clearly but also the other tasks associated with them.
For example, if the task is related to cleaning your room, include the areas that you have to clean in the list.
This will help you save your time for remembering things later.
Follow the Most Important Tasks First
Begin the list with two or three items that must be accomplished today or you’ll end up overdue your office work for tomorrow or forget to buy essential things.
Highlight your important tasks with different colors or label them with a sign so that they can be done on time & you can move to other tasks as well.
Begin With the Easiest
The easiest things are nothing but the less time-consuming tasks.
Sending emails, having a shower, and watering plants are all examples of an easy task.
Finish easy tasks at the start of the day to make yourself feel productive.
Check your list for the most important plus the most straightforward tasks.
Finish them as quickly as possible so you can get a feeling that you’ve released half of your burden.
Divide it Down
Tasks like university projects are challenging and time-consuming.
It’s not possible to complete your university or office project in one day.
Think about it: How much time do you need to get it done? How many days? And what are the possibilities that you may encounter any problem while working on it?
One way to minimize difficulties is to make tasks seem more achievable by dividing them into smaller parts.
Oh yes, it is one of the essential rules in project management!
So, instead of rushing for completing the projects at once, break them into small modules and give your best to each.
Don’t miss the: “To-Don’t list”
A great strategy that’s been used by some people is a To-Don’t-List.
It’s a list of things you don’t want to be done or things that are simply optional for that day.
That’s a smart trick that’s especially recommended to those who face distractions during the work.
Now you may ask why?
The reason is there could be several things that may affect you following your To-do list and achieving your tasks.
Hence, mentioning the ‘not to do tasks’ can be pretty effective too!
Don’t Miss Time
You have added car wash in the list, but did you mention when to wash it?
And at what time?
Mentioning time with the tasks is essential which will help you complete them at the appropriate time without delays.
You can also specify the place, location with them.
Here’s a simple example:
Car wash: 9-10 a.m.
Assignments: 10-12 p.m. at Andrew’s home
Check email: 5:00 pm.
Hence, make your list of tasks more productive by mentioning time with them!
Share With Others
It is good to let others know about your tasks if they are also involved in them.
Try making your To-do list public!
Attach it on the refrigerator or use an online task sharing service where every authentic member can view the tasks.
This will help you and others collaborate and add changes to the list!
Online spreadsheets can be used for collaborating your tasks with others.
Don’t Get Confused
There can be some tasks that may go long for days, weeks, or even months.
People not only fear the difficulties of tasks, but they also get confused due to some weird reasons.
For example, you want to write an application to your dean about the financial aid, but you are afraid of it and are delaying this task for days and weeks.
Don’t do that; it is just your fear, and not more than that!
Simply think, why are you doing this task? Plus, how important is this task to be done?
Nothing will happen if you complete your tasks; it’s only your mind that is tricking you into delaying them with the help of fear and confusion.
Dig the Old Tasks
Have you done watering your plants? If yes, then why is that task still mentioned in the list?
Don’t let your completed tasks stay on your list!
Strikethrough them, or make a tick to confirm their completion.
Also, looking at the completed tasks on the list will help you to motivate yourself and release the burden from your mind.
Are you done with your old to-do list? Create a new one just after the completion of the previous ones.
Don’t let your old list interfere with the new ones.
Learn from your old list, try your best not to repeat mistakes done in the previous list.
Make a new list of new tasks every day. Don’t just waste your time in a single To-do list and create a new one everyday.
Don’t Forget Your To-Do List
If you are new in creating a To-do list and trying to bring productivity in your life, then make sure that you don’t stop using it after a few days.
Many people tend to find creating To-do lists difficult, so they end up using them.
It all happens when you don’t consider it as an essential tool and don’t know how to make a good one.
Follow all of the previous points, make yourself realize how effective it is to create a To-do list, and try your best to use it forever.
The Bottom Line
Living in the 21st century is no less than dealing with chaos and stress.
It is quite challenging to remember and accomplish your tasks in the rush.
Thanks to something called To-Do list, it can help you in managing all of your tasks in an effective way so you can remember and complete them at the right time.
Be relaxed; think about your daily life tasks, write them with the proper rules that we explained.
Also, add a new taste to your list and try to make it friendly and straightforward.
If you have got any other question(s) in mind, please let us know by commenting below or by contacting us here.