The to-do list can become a very efficient tool in case, of course, you know how to use it. Here are top 10 tips to make you the real to-do list master.
Pick a medium. You can use a pen and a piece of paper, or you can use the wide range of modern day digital tools. The research suggests that you can better memorize the information if it is written by hand. Nevertheless, digital apps have so many useful functions that for the most people they will probably be a better choice.
Make multiples. You should have a master-list which includes all the things that you want to achieve in the long run (learn a language, clean the closet, etc.) and a weekly and daily lists (aka HIT lists) which should include your short-terms goals (finish the presentation, call your cousin). Make sure that you are transferring the items from the master list to your short-term lists.
Keep it simple. Having an endless to-do list can be very stressful. The best advice to make your HIT list doable is to write down the tasks that you want to accomplish today and to cut their number in half. The remaining things can be transferred to a weekly or a master list.
Meet the MITs. MIT stands for the “most important task.” These are the tasks that you need to start your day with. Even if the rest of the list remains untouched, you will feel satisfied if the most important tasks get accomplished.
Start easy. That’s a trick – include some easy tasks before MIT (like wash breakfast dishes or take a shower). When you cross them out it will make you feel productive and ready to get the difficult stuff done.
Break it down. Don’t set vague goals like “work on research paper.” It’s not the task that you can complete in an hour that’s why you should break it down into smaller tasks. If you need to work on a research paper, set sizeable goals like “finish chapter one” on Tuesday and “finish the first half of the second chapter” on Wednesday.
Stay specific. The items that you include in your to-do-list should have the following characteristics:
It’s the task that only to-do list author can do
It can be finished in one sitting
It’s a physical action
Include it All. For instance, if you need to call someone – write a phone of that person near the task so that you don’t waste your time searching for it later.
Time it. Put a time estimate for every item in the list. It really transforms your to-do list into a schedule making it very efficient.
Don’t Stress. There are some tasks that stay in the master lists for years. Don’t stress about it. Understand the reasons why you skip doing it and fix it. For example, replace “Call Robert,” with “understand why I don’t want to call Robert.”
Wish you complete all of your tasks!
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