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How To Do Lists Changed My Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

Procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses and a lot of you guys can probably relate to that. Something I used to always do is convince myself I had nothing to do and then sit on my phone, bored all day. I’d then figure out I had a test or an assignment due the next day and had to scramble to get things done. It added unnecessary stress and made life pretty unenjoyable. 

At the start of this semester I decided to start writing To-Do lists into the notes on my phone and setting them as my lock screen. Here’s how it has helped me:

1. Keeps me productive

I get bored really easily. It’s not that I don’t have anything to do, I just forget. Creating a list the night before and having those things with you throughout the next day helps to avoid boredom and make sure you always have something to do. 

2. Helps prevent stress 

Like I said, forgetting about tests and assignments can lead to unnecessary stress. As college students we have enough of that, so if we can prevent it, we should. Since beginning to write to-do lists, I have gotten significantly better at getting my work done. I’m not going to lie, you will still have those days where it seems like nothing gets done, but less is better than more. 

3. Makes me excited for the next day

Writing down all of the things I have to do the next day makes me excited to wake up, in a weird way. Just knowing that although some of the things I have to do might be unenjoyable, they are helping me reach my goals! That’s exciting!  Sometimes I may be doing something fun the next day, and that’s exciting too! 

4. Lets me set personal reminders

When I’m writing my to-do lists, I like to add in some little reminders just to keep me going when I feel down. For example, “Know your limits, don’t stress yourself out.” Seeing that when you feel like you just can’t catch a break is one of the best feelings. Another angle you can take is reminding yourself why you’re doing these things. Maybe write down some of the goals you have, like your graduation date, or a trip you’re going on in the future. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of what these days lead to. 

The key to success when it comes to to-do lists is knowing that everything is happening for a reason. So whether your list is long or short, full of fun activities or boring assignments, you know that everything’s happening so that you are able to reach your goals. So study for that test and read that chapter! You got this.


Emily is pursuing BA in Cinema Studies and Music, with a minor in Theater. As well as the arts, she loves traveling and cats. Catch her in her free time watching terrible movies just to make fun of them :)
Jordyn is a Biology major with a minor in creative writing at SUNY Oswego. She hopes to open a rehabilitation center for wildlife in the future. She's very passionate about animals and spreading awareness for animal rights. She also enjoys drawing and painting.