It’s easy to get snowed under when you have a lot on your hands. Among work responsibilities and personal obligations, life can get stressful, and it’s even more stressful when you forget something which is important. By creating planned to-do lists, you can give importance to the things you need to do, keep track of what still needs to be finished, and feel productive and prepared in all areas of your life.
To-do lists seem pretty straightforward: A list of all of the tasks you plan to accomplish during any given day or week. And, really, there are few things more satisfying than representing lines through each entry. Progress!
But, many times, they balloon to unrealistic levels, and we end up feeling overwhelmed and ineffective. That’s usually because we’re using them as a catch-all for every task that’s thrown at us. as a substitute, our lists should be derived from our big goals and include tasks that move us toward those big-picture activities, says Robert C. Pozen, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and Brookings Institution senior fellow.
If you’re regularly task list has become a set of things you never get done, use these tips to make it work for you.
Write It The Night Before.
When you spend few minutes to write your to-do list the night before, you can hit the ground running the next morning. For many people in the society, morning is a high-energy time and having your to-do list already in the hands means you don’t waste any super-charged minutes figuring out what to do next.
Decide what medium works best for you.
If your Smartphone is in your hand every day, use the Notes application to create your to-do list. If you hate staring at a phone or computer screen, grab a pen or pencil and write your list by hand daily. A to-do list will not be helpful if you dread making it or using it, so choose whatever medium you prefer most.
Put your to-do list somewhere you will see it regularly.
There is no point in creating a list if you put it in a drawer and forget about it. Make sure you are constantly seeing it! You may think that you won’t forget anything or that you’ll stay productive, but physically seeing a list of tasks you need to accomplish can really light the motivational fire within you.
Assign Time Estimate.
Whether it’s five minutes or five hours, include an estimate of how long it will take to complete, recommends Omar Kilani, co-founder of popular to-do list app Remember The Milk. In that manner, you see how the tasks’ completion times accumulate and “you can make realistic decisions about how much you can really fit into your day,” he says.
Sort your master list into categories. For instance, let us consider that you may have a to-do list for work and a to-do list for home. By creating separate lists, you can focus your attention and energy on one set of tasks at a time. There is no point in looking at your personal to-do list while you’re sitting in your office, so put it away!
To be your most creative, you need to have tunnel vision on the tasks in front of you. Remove the background noise and the stress of future chores by making situation-specific lists.
Share your list with someone.
It can be a parent, a friend, a significant other, or a co-worker. Just make sure it is someone who will check up on your list and inquire about your progress. You probably won’t feel very good if you tell someone you didn’t check anything off your to-do list for a whole day!