It’s funny how a little piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it can make a big difference to a day. Most people find they feel more focused and less stressed when they have a to-do list. Whether you write yours down, keep it in your phone, or on your computer, here are a few ways to make your to-do list work well for you.
1. Aim For the Night Before
Give yourself 10 minutes or so in the evening to plan for the next day. Waking up with a little blue print of your day will help you feel more clear-headed.
2. List Time-Specific Items First
Let’s say you have a doctor’s appointment just before lunch, and are taking your daughter to a sports game at 4pm. Add those things first. This will help you block out time for other goals.
3. Keep It Simple
During the day, glancing at a long, cumbersome list of things you hope to get done can feel overwhelming—like there’s not enough time. So once you’ve listed time-specific activities, add your top priorities. It might be one or two things that are not options for you.
4. Be Specific
Maybe you are writing a short novel for a school project due next month. Instead of “write novel”, list what you can realistically achieve in one sitting, such as “write story outline about a boy who discovers he is not a poor orphan after all.”
5. Remember Murphy’s Law is a Real Possibility
We all know the age-old saying that “anything that can go wrong, will”—that unexpected phone call, the internet going down, accidently burning dinner, or the car not starting. Sticking to your list sometimes might not be quite as important as having a sense of humor!