Tips for Conquering Your To Do List and FREE Printable- D.I.Y. SUNDAYS
Examining the To Do List
A To-Do- List is an electronic, handwritten or typed list of tasks that needs to be accomplished. The creator of the list makes a decision of the tasks that needs to be accomplished and he/she makes note of these tasks, often in order of importance, in a list format. Once an item is completed, it is often marked off the list. In doing so, the individual goes to the next item on the list until the list is completed.
This seems like an efficient enough system; however, for some of us it does not matter what we do; we just cannot make this system work. Instead of being organized with completed tasks we become frustrated and stressed by what we have not done.
Here are five tips that I have found can be quite useful in creating a To-Do- List.
1) Be Realistic
I say be realistic because often we create a to-do-list with fifteen or twenty items on it which needs to be completed. At the end of the day, you will realize by looking at the list that you have only completed five tasks. This leads to you being frustrated and out of frustration you scrap the whole idea of making a to-do- list.
Write only four to five items on your list. Choose the four or five most important things to do for the day and write them on your list. Once you have completed those tasks, you can then add three to four more items. Just do not overload your list. Once again I say be realistic.
2) Plan Ahead
From my experience, I have found that I keep putting things on my list that were not essential to my day. Yes, these things needed to be done but they could be done on any day at any time. When this happens the most important things that needed to be completed were not accomplished.
Write your to-do- list the night before or early in the morning before you start your daily task. This way you can review all the things you have to do and set propriety to the ones that are more important. You will also find that you can make your list more concise by doing this.
3) To- Do- List to Go
You are out and about conducting business however you cannot find the paper you wrote your to-do- list on. This then turns into a never ending dive into your bag. If your handbag is like mine then searching for this list is a hopeless cause. You give up searching for the list and then you forget a task or two that needs to be accomplished.
Create your to-do- list on your phone, tablet, etc. I currently use the app color notes on my phone. It works for me because it syncs with my Google calendar and I can make multiple notes with it. This way if I am on the go my list is easily accessible.
4) Make Major Tasks Continuous
You have a task to do that will take three or four days. You try to complete this extensive task in one day and find that at the end of the day you are unable to tick it off your list. Somehow you feel like you have not done anything substantial because there it is on you to-do- list smiling at you as if to mock your efforts.
Break up these major tasks into different sub tasks. Then, add a different sub-task on each day of your to do list. This will enable you to complete the major task on a step by step basis. In doing this, you will also stem the habit of procrastination.
5) Make it a Routine
You make a to-do- list today and it works. Tomorrow you are too tired to do it or you go back to making mental notes of the things you need to do. At the end of the day you are tire and overwhelmed because there is still so much to do that you have not done.
Make creating and completing a to-do- list a routine. I have a co-worker who I admire so much because of her excellent organization skill. What I have observed with her is that without fail every day before she starts to do anything she either writes or evaluates her to do list, if it was created the day before. In doing so, she has created a routine for herself that ensures that without fail she completes her set tasks. Remember, if you fall off the to-do- list wagon one day, just brush yourself off and jump back on.
In preparation for this post I decided to try my hand at creating printable using Microsoft Word (let me know if you want me to a post about this). You will find them attached for you to download free. These to-do-lists can be posted on your fridge, in your home management binder or just use at your work station. Please feel free to share your reviews and comments on this post and the printable to-do- lists.