Do you like to work in a more organized manner? If that’s you, then you probably make a to-do list every day. But does it ever happen to you that most of your list remains untouched and at the end of the day you feel sad about not having done anything? In that case, you need to learn how to make a good to-do list, and here are 10 ways that will definitely help you.
1. Choose the Right App or Use Paper
Ask yourself which medium is easier for you, a digital one, or a paper one. Just go with what you like. You want to use a spreadsheet, or a word document? Fine, go for it. However, apps are there as well which are a lot more helpful. Apps can set reminders and make editing easy. You can arrange tasks in any order easily and can also assign tasks to others as well as, keep a check on their activity. It all depends on how you want it to be. Just research a bit and go with what you like.
2. Make More Than One List
Try making different lists for different areas of work such as Household, Work, Personal, etc. Dividing your work lets you focus on one area at a time. When at work, your focus will be on the work to-do list, and this way it won’t drive your attention towards the household tasks you need to do.
3. Add New Tasks as Quickly as Possible
As soon as a new task comes in your mind, put it on the list. This way you don’t have to remember it as the list will remind you of it to you. If your to-do list app has some keyboard shortcut to quickly add tasks to your list, figure it out. Just make sure you add new tasks to your list as quickly as they come up.
4. Assign Due Dates
Prioritize your tasks with due dates. This will increase the efficiency of your work and help you manage time. Adding due dates will help your app to remind you of your tasks as ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’, and ‘this week’. So you can keep a check at your tasks and plan activities accordingly.
5. Revise Your To-Do Lists Daily
Every morning, revise your to-do list. Make sure you don’t put a lot of tasks on one day. Make a reasonable and achievable to-do list. Revising will also help you plan your day and tasks.
6. Limit Yourself to 3 and 5 Tasks Daily
Don’t overburden yourself with lots of tasks. Select 3 to 5 tasks you need to complete in one day. Know your capacity and the difficulty level of the tasks. Decide the tasks in the morning only so that you don’t dwell on the tasks you didn’t do at the end of the day.
7. Put Tasks in Your To-Do List, Not Goals and Objectives
One might get confused between goals, tasks, and objectives. Tasks are the small things in your daily life you need to do. While goals are long term and aren’t achievable in one day. Hence, putting them in a to-do list won’t help you in any way. Objectives are qualities on the way to attaining a goal. So to find your task, just break your objective into parts.
8. Keep Your Goals and Objectives Separate
All the tasks we do are a way towards achieving our goal. We need to be very clear about our goal but we don’t have to put it in our to-do list. We might jot it down in the notes section of our to-do list app or in a journal. Just check them annually or half-yearly but don’t let them distract you from your day to day work.
9. Look at Your To-Do List Often
Keep checking your to-do list as often as you can. This will help you guide your day. Look at it at the beginning of the day and then check it after the completion of every task. If you feel exhausted, look for an easy task that will take less attention. Trust your to-do list, and keep your mind free to focus on your present work.
10. Make Your To-Do List Scannable
When you start checking your to-do list more often, you’ll want to see what you need to do next at a glance. For that, make your list easy to read. Use short and crisp language. Highlight the main part of the task or you can also put symbols and icons to make it more easily readable.
Jack Arona is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Billy has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.