The 2 Secrets for Making a To-do List You’ll Get Done

You’re tired of looking at a task list you never seem to get anywhere with. In fact, you might not be making a list at all anymore. Sound familiar?

Did you know there’s a difference between the to-do list you typically make and the type of list used by people who get things done?

Here’s the secret to making a to-do list that really works: Make it specific, and make it fit.

What do I mean by this? Follow these steps and you’ll see:

Make it specific

 The most vital part of writing a good to-do list lies in the names of the tasks themselves. If they’re not specific, you’ll likely find yourself avoiding the work.

Try these tips for creating specific tasks:

–   Make certain that each task on your list offers specific detailed instructions.
–   Don’t just write single words like “budget” on your list. That’s a large, unapproachable word that looks difficult to accomplish.
–   Create tasks that begin with a verb and offer clarity as to the subject, like “List monthly expenses,” or “Research household budget spreadsheets.”
–   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 two examples above.

 Make it fit

 This too is a crucial part of your daily list. You need to stop making that giant “laundry list” of tasks that you’ll never get started and frankly have no intention of doing.

Ensure that your list fits into your day, by following these steps:

–   Plan your time conservatively, leaving room for the unexpected events that pop-up.
–   Always consult your schedule because your available task time periods often varies.
–   Limit yourself to 3-5 priority tasks each day.
–   Write-down task times after each task, rounded off to the nearest 15 minutes.
–   Estimate times of day when tasks can be accomplished.
–   Group similarly planned tasks together – such as errands and groceries.
–   If you find yourself having extra time and everything done – that’s a good problem! Grab a new task off your Master List or your Someday List.

There’s no better feeling than when you reach the end of the day holding a completely crossed-off, checked-off, worn out list. You’ve met your goals for the day and it’s time to celebrate. Follow these steps and set yourself up for success every day with a to-do list that provides a descriptive, realistic plan. Enjoy your time!

5 thoughts on “The 2 Secrets for Making a To-do List You’ll Get Done

  1. Ditto. Great Tips. Another thing I found useful, is to eat my frog first every day (before checking email). Generally, that helps the rest of the to-do items get done faster or become non-exitent (even better!)

  2. I have trouble with short term memory, writing down tasks to be done has been very helpful, and proiritizing makes me more efficient. Thank you!

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