In my opinion, most people who write themselves to do lists end up writing completely ineffective to do lists. This can be for whatever reason, whether it’s because:
- The to-do lists turns out to be too long and therefore it becomes incompletable.
- Or because you get too excited whilst writing your to-do lists (this is a common one) and end up jotting things to do down that you don’t even need to do and therefore don’t get round to completing the more important things.
- Or because you write your to-do list hoping and praying that it will put a stop to the never ending trance you’ve found yourself stuck in that we like to call: Procrastination. But of course, a simple, everyday, run of the mill to-do list won’t spare you of the curse that’s been placed on you. So you need to be clever about it.
1. Write your To Do list the night before
Set yourself a time limit, this way you know exactly which task you need to complete by 10.00am for example the next morning, and it should help you to get everything done, so you’ve got more time to yourself in the afternoon.
2. Keep it simple
Don’t cram your to-do list full of things because chances are, you won’t have time to complete them all or might even lose motivation.
3. First things first
Now when writing your to-do lists you need to make sure you get the most important and least enjoyable tasks done, first. And then you’ll have the more enjoyable tasks to do later and this will motivate you to get all your boring tasks done.
4. Limit your To Do list
Take five minutes, no more, and write down every single thing you can think of that you need to do in the next week. This can be personal or professional. Write it all down just to get it out of your head. Then put that list away because this is NOT your To Do list. Then pick out 3 of the jobs from the list, and plan to get these done within the week, and this will be your to do list, and then once you have completed your 3 tasks, write another 3 tasks down, and you’ll get your jobs done in no time.
5. Sometimes small is big
Sometimes, a small To DO can become something that weighs really heavily on our shoulders because we’ve put it off for so long that it really starts to bother us. So, ask yourself now – would actually completing the task I am avoiding take less energy than I am spending avoiding it? The answer is probably yes. Therefore, simply get it done! It probably won’t even take that long, and then it will stop playing on your mind.