7 Expert-Approved Ways to Write a Better To-Do List
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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.
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.
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.
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Create 3 different to-do lists:
The purpose of this list is to know the tasks the are not important and are not worthwhile. There are a lot of things worthy of your time and getting rid of those unnecessary tasks will give you more time to complete more important tasks.
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.
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.
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.
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Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.
Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and tra...
Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list.
Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”
People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes.
Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list.
Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.
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