2 Secrets to a Winning To-do List

  Jumpstart Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Make an Action Plan for Your To-do List

Managing a to-do list is the most basic step of all planning, but there’s a secret to making a to-do list that really works:

Try This:

1) Make it specific, and 2) make it fit. What do I mean by this?

  • First, make certain that each task on your list offers specific detailed instructions.
    Don’t just write the word “Budget” on your list, it’s a large, unapproachable word.
  • Create tasks that begin with a verb and offer clarity as to the subject, like “List monthly bills due.
  • If your task can’t be turned into a specific action, it needs to be broken down into smaller steps, as I did in the above example.
  • It’s always a good idea to plan your day conservatively, so limit yourself to 3-5 priority tasks that fit the time you have available.
  • If you find yourself having extra time, and everything done – that’s a good problem!

Here’s Why:

It makes no sense to create a giant laundry list of vague tasks that you’ll never get started, or frankly have no intention of doing. Set yourself up for success with a to-do list that provides a descriptive, realistic plan today.

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at [email protected]

2 thoughts on “2 Secrets to a Winning To-do List

  1. Jeff,

    This is good advice.

    I have noticed, that especially during my vacation time, I have a task list full of things to do. Luckily, when doing some batching and starting my day a bit earlier, I’m able to tackle many of the before the noon.

    Timo

    1. Hi Timo, thanks for reading. Batching is sometimes the best (and only) way to get things done on vacation time. Just make sure you’re balancing in some “me” time and family tasks.

      Jeff

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