You’ll know that a to-do list is necessary if you want to remain organised and plan your time well. The problem is people put so much on them that they become overwhelmed. They also get bored of following them. You need to make sure your to-do list is in the best possible shape for you, and here are some tips to do that.
Keep Your List Short
There’s no need to put everything on it for the day. Keep your to-do list short and you’re less likely to become overwhelmed. Focus on the points that really need doing for the day, and get through them. You can always add more later if you get through it all. You’ll find that when you’re not worrying about things further down your list, you can put more effort and energy into the task you’re completing.
Set Yourself a Deadline
This is especially important if you’re deadline orientated. You need to set yourself a time that the tasks need to be done by. There’s no point just saying that it needs to be done by the end of the weekend—if they all say that, you could end up leaving all of them to the last minute.
Set an hourly deadline but keep them realistic. Otherwise, you could end up pushing yourself too much.
Split Those Larger Tasks Down
When you write a big task on your list, have smaller tasks within them that you need to do. Breaking down the larger ones will make them seem less overwhelming and even possible.
You will also work out just how much work really needs doing and whether you can comfortably achieve it all by your set deadline.
Order Your To-Do List
Make sure your list is in order of the tasks that need to be done first. You may have full control over this and be able to get the easier stuff done and out of the way. However, you may find that the larger tasks must be done by an earlier deadline.
Play this bit by ear. If you’re not too sure at first, write out all the tasks and then use a separate sheet of paper to organise them all.
Plan in Some Breaks
Don’t forget to take a break! It’s really easy to forget about doing this if your to-do list is especially long. Add some breaks in at strategic points.
They could be after the more difficult tasks on your list, at set time intervals or when you’ve done a stretch of smaller tasks. After a stretch of smaller tasks is important if your whole list is like that. You may not even realise just how long you’ve been working on them.
Only Make Lists If Necessary
You don’t need to make lists for everything. Consider whether you need a new to-do list. If you just have one or two tasks, just get them done.
Making lists wastes time if they’re really not necessary.