1. Time-Blocking - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

7 Expert-Approved Ways to Write a Better To-Do List

1. Time-Blocking

Time-blocking consists of assigning individual tasks to manageable time slots.

Instead of writing out short tasks alongside hours-long tasks on your list for the day and hoping you have enough time to tackle it all, this approach lets you set realistic goals for yourself one task at a time.

1093 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

7 Expert-Approved Ways to Write a Better To-Do List

7 Expert-Approved Ways to Write a Better To-Do List

http://mentalfloss.com/article/94735/7-expert-approved-ways-write-better-do-list

mentalfloss.com

7

Key Ideas

2. If/then Lists

To set reasonable goals make a list for high-energy days and another for when you are reluctant to work. Both lists should follow an “if/then” model.

The first lists should have the more involved tasks, while the second list should feature more mindless tasks like cleaning out your inbox, organizing your desk, or even napping.

3. Eisenhower Matrix

An Eisenhower Matrix breaks a to-do list into the four categories below:
  1. Has items that are both urgent and important, is to be tackled immediately.
  2. Items that are important but not urgent, can be scheduled for a later time.
  3. Tasks deemed urgent but not important can be delegated to others if possible
  4. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important should be crossed off the list altogether.

4. Drawing

It’s fine to use your own shorthand to write to-do lists as long as you can decipher it later. Consider doodling quick images to get your message across.

One study found that words are more likely to stick in our memories if we draw pictures of them instead of writing them down. Doing so also forces you to think them through ahead of time.

5. One-Three-Five List

A one-three-five list looks at task size, instead of time or urgency. Using it you can make more informed decisions when urgent tasks pop up and better prioritize your other work. To make one:
  • Fill the first slot with the biggest job of the day.
  • Pick three smaller, but still important tasks to fill out the middle of your list.
  • Finish it off with five items you can quickly take care of.

6. Kanban Board

A Kanban board helps you keep your day organized by visualizing the tasks ahead. To make one:
  • Start by finding a board, digital or otherwise. Keep in mind that the tasks will have to be moved within the board.
  • Fill with tasks the three columns—"To-Do, " "Doing, " and "Done".
  • Any items you complete should be relocated to the "Done" column, and any items you start from the "To-Do" section should move to "Doing. "
  • Place the board somewhere easy to glance at throughout the day, so you can easily visualize your progress.

7. Could-Do List

You can make a "could-do" list to weigh the importance of optional tasks. To do that:
  • Make a worksheet with columns for tasks, task duration, expenses, task desirability (scaled one to 10), and the return on your investment (scaled one to 10).
  • Based on those metrics, identify which items take priority.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Problem with To-Do Lists

To-do lists call our attention to tasks that are easy to quantify and complete. These tasks can feel more pressing and important than they really are and make us prioritize them while neglecting...

The Hunter Method
This method is inspired by early human survival tactics. "If the hunter made a successful hunt for that day, his family would eat. If not, they wouldn’t. It was that simple."
  • Choose one task that is going to be the focus of your day, even if it does not fill your whole day.
  • Write it on a Post-it note and stick it to your laptop.
  • Look at this note when your mind begins to wander.
What 'must-do' to choose

You'll find it is usually the thing you least want to do. It is not a meaningless errand or tedious office task. It's a significant item that will make you feel more fulfilled.

Lists to Organize Yourself Perfectly
  • Vision List - consists of everything you want to experience in life.
  • 100 Days List - all the task waiting for you in the next 100 day.
  • Personal Sprint Backlog ...
The Not-to-do List

A list of tasks you simply don't do: You delete them, delegate them, outsource them or simply say no when they try to find their way on your to-do list:

  • Things you want to say no
  • Distractions from being productive
  • Regular tasks you can delete, delegate, or outsource
  • Other people's responsibility
  • Small projects that get way on bigger projects
  • Emotionally draining tasks
  • Bad habits
  • Stuff that doesn't need to be done
  • Things that are out of control
  • Everything else that you can systematically eliminate and bring a bigger margin into your life.
Not-to-do List and Templates

When people ask you personally or via email something that you are struggling to decline, use templates. Templates are standard response you use to everyone. With the use of these, you refuse them politely without offending them. Also,  it saves you time and there's less emotional pressure compared to writing a decline every time.

one more idea

In need of a makeover

A to-do list can be helpful but is often not used successfully. If you end the day with things undone or if you regularly carry tasks forward, you need a to-do list makeover.

Get clear on what's important
  • Most people are unaware of their priorities. Our priorities are the things that are most important to us right now. Not serving them is non-negotiable.

  • People are capable of having two or three priorities. More priorities leave them scattered and unfulfilled, filling their time with stuff that doesn't matter.

  • Once you know your priorities, everything on your to-do list should serve them. Look out for the 'shoulds' - they are not serving your priorities.

Give tasks a value

Look over your to-do list and assign every task a value, such as a dollar-per-hour amount that you might have to pay someone else to do it. Score tasks from $10 per hour for administrative tasks up to $10,000 per hour for high-level strategy and sales-related tasks.

By giving dollar-per-hour values to specific tasks, you ensure you use your resources correctly.

4 more ideas