What to do when Writing a To Do List

Would you believe me if I told you I was busy every single day in the month of November? Yes, everyday! What can I say? I’m a busy gal, and because I’m busy 24/7 it’s important that I organize my time efficiently. To-Do lists are by far my absolute favorite way to organize what I have to do. Although, some of the biggest mistakes made when prioritizing tasks is assigning too many tasks and not knowing where to begin. Here are 5 easy tips for great To-Do lists that will actually help you get things done!

Use paper

Digital To-Do lists are often never ending lists; if you use paper you can limit yourself to one page a day and prioritize what is most important. Most importantly, paper To-Do lists allow for the crossing out of finished tasks (AKA the best part). Fun Fact Alert! When you cross out a task on your to-do list it releases dopamine, so the more tasks you complete the better you will feel!

Source: Ian Schneider 

Use Cherry Picking

Put an easy task on your list, like "text an old friend" or "make coffee". This is the best way to start completing your To-Do’s. Once you finish your easy task you will often go through your list until you finish it.

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Be specific

One way you can reduce the fear factor when approaching a task is by being more specific. Some tasks are much more complex than the simple one liner: "work on essay" or "read book”. Instead of writing “work on essay,” try something like, “start opening paragraph of essay”. Breaking down that daunting task will make approaching it not as scary.

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Time it

Setting aside time within your day to focus on a specific task is super helpful. After completing your list of “to-dos” go back and write what time you will start and finish each task. Make sure you always leave some “cushion time” of 10-15 minutes between each task. This is just in case it takes you longer than expected to finish a task.

Don’t stress

This is something I have to constantly remind myself because often when there is so much to do I tend to get overwhelmed. This isn’t always something we can control but asking yourself “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” really puts things into perspective. It’s simple, but it's true. If you know you’ve done your best there is simply nothing else to worry about.

Source: Simon Matzinger