Just To-Do This. Ten-Step Plan to Create Better To-Do Lists

The To-Do List has Become a Daily Necessity in Busy Day Life.

The main Function of a To-Do List is to Get us Organized and Easy, Knowing that we Do not Forget Anything. But if we Let it Grow without Continuous Adjustments and Care, it can Produce an Entirely Different Effect Becoming a Further Habit around Procrastination.

The Act of Creating a To-Do List is Useful to Plan, Organize Thoughts, and Get Things Done. Its Primary Purpose is to Keep us Focused, and of course, to Provide a Sense of Fulfillment when Checking Items off the List.

Here 10-Step Plan to Follow in Order to Create a Better and Functional To Do List:

1. Choose a Tool for your To Do List

Decide where you will Desire to Keep Note of all your To-Do-List Tasks.

It doesn’t Matter if this is a Physical Tool such as a NoteBook, a Journal or Sticky Notes on a Board or a Digital Tool such as Outlook, a Note or a Productivity App, Once All your Tasks are in one Place you will Instantly know what Needs to be Done and When and that you are not Missing Anything Crucial or Urgent. Anyway If You Start Writing your To-Do List on a Piece of Paper, you Can Always to Copy your List on a Productivity Tracker in Order to Create a Little Bit of “Taste” of Automatization around your To DOs and your Activities.

2. Start Easy & Keep it Simple

Write Down all the Things you have To Do as they Come to your Mind. Start with what you Have To Do Today, this Week and so on, and Continue as far Ahead until you Feel that it is Helpful.

Initially Write Down More Tasks that You Want to Accomplish without any Specific Order.

Every To-Do List Should Include all the Task to Accomplish During a Setted Period of Time.

Don’t Take Tasks for Granted: You Could Risk to Forget Them.

3. Separate Tasks from Projects

Conflating a Task with a Project or Goal is Probably the Most Common Mistake Made in Personal Productivity. Break your Projects and Goals Down into Individual Steps. A To-Do should Represent a Step Towards a Goal, or an Action Leading to a Project Being Complete.

4. Categorized List

Now that You Have Written Down You List Categorize Tasks. The Value of Having a Single To-Do List is Keeping a Wide Vision on Things to Do, but by Categorizing Task, you will Avoid Being Distracted by Seeing Tasks that you’re Not Interested in Dealing with Right Now, and it will be Easier to Concentrate and Maximize Focus and Effort on the Task Ahead in the Same Category.

5. Write Most Important Task First MITs

A Productive way to Prepare your Day or your Week is by Selecting the Most Important Tasks (MITs) that must be Done assigning a Priority. Normally daily there are from One to Tasks to Accomplish, it Depends on how much Detailed and Specific is the Task and How much Main Tasks Have Been Chunked. 

Since the Beginning of the Day or the Week until you have Completed Those Tasks, your List of MITs becomes Your Fix To-Do List.

6. Stay Specific & Chunk every Task 

Schedule Chunking Consists in Breaking up the Task into more Specific, Manageable and Smaller and Collect more Focus to Accomplish every Chunk without Interruptions. 

You can Implement Schedule Chunking by Applying it to the Hours in a Day, or the Days in a Week. The Former Allows you to Break Down your Tasks and get them Done Piece by Piece.

7. Work in Chunks of Time

At the Start of Each Day, Look Over your To-Do List and Start Grouping your Tasks into 15-30-60-90 Minutes Chunks of Activity. 

Then Schedule in as Many of These Productivity Chunks into your Schedule that you Can. During those Time periods Make sure you Work without Distractions. 

Afterwards, Take a Break and do Something else such as Return Phone Calls, Answer Emails, etc. before Starting a New Task.

8. “Cultivate” your To-Do-List & Cross Off Tasks Completed

Checking Tasks off the List Regularly Lets you Experience the Rush of Having Taken another Step and Accomplished Something. But most People have some Tasks that Remain on the List for Days, Weeks or even Months. Every Time you see them Uncompleted, you Feel Disheartened and the List Loses some Value. Plus the Longer you Keep Undone Tasks on your Lists, Harder is to Get Started and to Make them.

Pick Time Every Day, whether it’s the Evening before, to Review all the Lists (Daily, Weekly or General/Uncategorized Lists) and Improve Them. The Right Hours are Before going to Bed or Early in the Morning, when you can Organize all your Tasks and Determine what Still Needs to Be Accomplished and to Be Setted during the New Day List.

9. Track your Progress & Use a Habit Tracker App

Keep a Log of the Time Spent on each Task Helps you Discover Areas where some Changes or Improvements can Be Made. It also Lets you Learn how Long Something will Take you in the Future, Making Planning more Effective in the Long Run.

For an Effective Productivity it’s critical to ask for Help to Technology and a System that Helps you Keep on Top of all the To-Do’s in your Life. The Important Aspect about Organizing Tasks in a Digital Tool that Supports Comments, Descriptions or Notes is that you can Keep your Related Resources Close by and to Adjust and Print them all the Times that You Need Without Loose to much Time to Reorganize and Rewrite a List. It’s why so many People use Evernote, OneNote, Lists to Do as Easy and Intuitive Task Management Tools/App.

10. Make Things Done! 

After All this Scheduling: Just Do It!

The Simplest Way to Start and Stay Motivated is Making Things Done from the Main List. Start to Accomplish your To-Do List Breaking all the Rules and Pick some Things that Sounds You Easer and Fulfilling to Realize in the Present Moment and Just do Them. 

Then Continue Following your Weekly and Daily Scheduling. Remember that Scheduling is a very Important Task to Include in your To-Do List, Everyday. 

Author: Cristina Capucci 

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