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The to do list needs to keep moving and give you a sense of accomplishment by end of the day. So keep only smaller and focussed tasks (not broad ideas). Keep a separate list of long-term ideas, for weekend reflections (if you can).
This is a visual summary of the main tips provided in this article. If you like reading similar things with such visual summaries, you can find them at www.aakarsh.substack.com
Don't use the same list for each day; it might end up looking like a mess of mixed things (done, undone, unimportant, critical etc). Create a fresh list each day so that visually also, you get a feeling of starting with a clean slate. It can have tasks undone from previous day but writing them on top will force you to knock them off first.
Always draw boundaries and keep the no. of things fewer and, if possible, in groups of 3.
Write your to-do list the night before so that you get a good view about the day's layout and plan once you set out in the morning
Always be specific about the action that needs to be taken. Vague words like "implement XXX" will create a trap because that alone might involve multiple steps.
Your actual task of doing things cannot happen in pockets or in isolation. Ultimately, you need to carve out time to do stuff. If you can carve out straight 3 hours to finish all 10-15 tasks - fine. But if you have only intermittent slots, then the best way is to map a set of 3-5 tasks for 1 hour and then attend to other stuff/meetings and deal with another set of 3-5 tasks in another hour. This is possible only when you tightly map tasks to your calendar.
Have some nomenclature of prioritization. Either a number ranking or the famous urgent-important framework. But create an order out of the chaos, so that you can deal with it.
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