A to-do list is an excellent tool to staying productive and organized, but ‘mastering’ your to-do list sometimes seems like a daunting task. Things get in the way of the to-do-list, it isn’t kept prioritized and organized, so it is important to learn to master your to-do list in order for it to work for you the way you expect it to. When used properly, a to-do list can make even the most overwhelming days manageable.
So, How Do You Master a To-Do-List Anyways?
- Create: The first step to mastering your to-do list is creating it. Write down all the tasks you plan to accomplish and be detailed. Many tasks are left unfinished because we forget about them. Having a list helps you remember all that you want to achieve, and creating your list is something you must do daily.
- Prioritize: There are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes you simply cannot do it all. Choose what items are most important and focus on those tasks first. Save the least important things for later, or even another day.
- Cross items off: As you complete tasks, be sure to cross them off the list. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it will give you a visual reminder of your progress. All too often we get discouraged because we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere, but physically striking through things on the list will help foster a sense of accomplishment. Interestingly, accomplishment breeds accomplishment, and the more you achieve the more you will be motivated to keep pressing on.
- Reward Yourself: As you cross items off your list, take time to reward yourself. Consider giving yourself a short break from the list so you don’t get burnt out or discouraged. Taking a little time off can help you refocus and will give you renewed intensity as you approach your tasks.
There will always be a to-do list. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t finish everything, just keep prioritizing and crossing things off to show how far you’ve come. Even as you make progress, you will find that new tasks need to be added.
A to-do list isn’t an overbearing manager of your time, it is a tool to help you make the most of your days. Staying focused will help you achieve more so you can accomplish all that you want to do. At the end of the day, you are in control of how you spend your time. A to-do list helps you make the most of it.