The humble to do list is a powerful organization tool. It doesn’t matter whether you create and keep a digital list using an app such as Todoist or use a pen and paper. What matters is that you create and use your lists every day to help you get and stay organized. The following tips will ensure that your to do lists are a successful tool in your organizational tool box.
Keep it Short
The ideal length of a to do list is 10 items or less. You’ve probably created lists in the past that have seemed endless. Instead of helping you feel organized and successful, you probably ended the day with most of the items still unchecked and feeling a failure.
By keeping your list purposely short you are more likely to cross off every item and end the day feeling successful.
Separate To-Do Lists for Home and Work
Some experts will advise you to not add your work tasks to your personal to do list. And instead you need to maintain separate lists. Well, I believe this is up for discussion. I personally have my list with ALL my items on it. Yes, I do have an idea journal that I keep all my ideas in that I jot down what I need to do for each idea as I think of them. So this one, I’m going to recommend you do a trial and error; see which approach works best for you.
Once you’ve listed everything you need to accomplish then number the items in order of priority. Do the most important items first and you’ll feel the biggest sense of achievement.
If there are any items on your list that aren’t important then mark them as such. That way you won’t need to feel guilty if you don’t cross them off.
Assign a Time Limit
Wherever possible set a time limit for every item on the list. Not just how long it will take but when it needs to be done. That way you can identify tasks that need to be completed before lunch or before picking up the kids from school.
Re-visit and Re-work
A to do list should be a working document. Once written it should be revisited throughout the day. You can check off those items you’ve completed and re-prioritize or schedule those that remain.
You can also cross items off that are no longer important or unnecessary. It will also give you the opportunity to add any additional tasks that crop up during the day.
Keep it with You
How often have you made a to do list at the beginning of the day and then totally ignored it? Probably because you left the house without it at the beginning of the day!
To make sure your list is where you need it you could use an app such as Todoist or Jamie’s To Do. Better still you could keep your daily to do list in your daily or weekly spread in a note on your phone. That way it will be with you wherever you go and you’ll get the satisfaction of marking off the items as you complete them. You’ll also have a visual record of your achievement.
Your to-do list can be a powerful tool for helping you to live an organized life. Using these tips will help you to ensure that it is used successfully.
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