15 Tips and Tricks For Your To-Do List

Here are 15 Tips and Tricks for Your To-Do List

While creating and using your to-do lists is kinda simple.

There are some tips and tricks you can use that will multiply their effectiveness.

Below I will share with you the tips and tricks I learned with my to-do lists over the years.

  1. Clear your inbox every day

Your inbox for tasks is a great place to collect things you need to do and process…

But don’t forget to clear it at least once a day.

The digital version of clutter is an inbox too big to handle.

This does not only apply to email…

But also your inbox for which you process your tasks.

Set aside a time of the day where you clear your inbox.

As you capture notes and things to do…

Clear your inbox before it becomes a big pile that frightens you…

Which will make you more likely to procrastinate.

So before the end of the day…

Try to have your inbox empty.

  1. Get rid of junk

We all have times when we come up with a great idea or something we need to do, so we write them down.

Sometimes days, weeks or even months later…

We have never acted on those thoughts and they just fill up space on your to-do list.

If an item has been on your list for too long, delete it.

If it is truly important, it will find a way back on your to-do list.

Till then, out of sight, out of mind.

  1. No more outcomes
    Stop writing down outcomes

Stop writing down outcomes and start writing down actionable steps.

When you read your to-do list

You should be able to figure out right away what you should be doing next.

What a lot people often do is that they write down the outcome they want.

But the problem is that they often don’t know how to get started which leads to procrastination.

Instead of writing down “vitamins”, write down “Go to the store and buy vitamins”.

Instead of “WWE”, you write “Order the PPV package for Saturday’s match”.

You get the idea.

  1. Leave the List Visible All Day Long

It is essential to have your to-do list in front of your eyes all day long.

This will reinforce the sense of urgency and get you working on your tasks as soon as you start slacking off.

  1. Start Your Day with Your To-Do List

Develop the habit of sitting down and writing your to-do list at the beginning of every day.

This is the best time to plan things out because your mind is fresh.

And you should have a good grasp of the important things that need to be done that day.

  1. List Tasks for That Day Only
    List Tasks for That Day Only

Do not try to plan the whole week or even a couple of days ahead.

Focus on the tasks that need to be completed on that single day.

You can’t know what will come up during the day…

So the priorities for the tomorrow might change.

  1. Put the Important Tasks On Top

Always put the important tasks on top.

First things first, as they say.

It is also essential to tackle the tasks in order or else putting the important ones on top would be useless.

  1. Have A Separate Section To Write Down Ideas and Notes
    Write Down Ideas and Notes

It is very likely that during the day new ideas and tasks will come up.

Do not mix those with your existing to-do list because you will mess things up.

Instead have a section where you can write down ideas and other annotations.

Then use them as input for tomorrow’s list.

  1. List the Things You Are NOT Supposed To Do As Well

Apart from listing the stuff you need to do…

You can also list the stuff you are NOT supposed to do.

If you lose productivity because you check your email every 10 minutes and keep logged on Facebook all day long.

You could have one entry on your to-do list like “Check Email Only Twice A Day” and another one like “Open Facebook Only After 5pm”.

Then you would cross those tasks at the end of the day if you manage to respect them.

  1. Why?

We have written before on the power of having a why.

When you deal with your tasks then ask yourself these questions:

Why am I adding this to my to do list? – If you don’t plan to act on it then don’t bother to even add it.

Why do I need to do this? – If you are not the best person to do this then outsource it.

Why is this important? – If it is not important then delete it.

  1. List A Realistic Number of Tasks

Even if you are feeling good in the morning….

Don’t try to add everything that comes to your head to your to-do list.

Instead put a realistic number of tasks and try to finish all of them by the end of the day.

Listing too many tasks might discourage you at the beginning of the day and then frustrate you at the end.

  1. Take Your Breaks Between Tasks And Not When You Are Doing Them

Taking breaks is essential for your productivity.

Just make sure that your breaks are scheduled between your tasks and not when you are doing them.

What I mean is…

Finish the task at hand before taking a break.

If you take breaks while working on a certain task…

You will lose concentration and prolong the time it will take to complete it.

Remember that you must finish what you start.

  1. Add a time estimate
    Add a time estimate

Not all tasks take the same amount of time.

By adding an estimation to your tasks you will see if a task is too big to handle.

When a task takes longer than an hour then that is a sign that the task is too big.

Break it down into smaller tasks…

Because if the task is too big you are more likely to procrastinate.

An example of a task that is too big is “renovate the kitchen”.

This will definitely take more than an hour to complete and it involves a lot of other tasks.

So it is a good idea to break this down and maybe even make this a project.

In the beginning you will be horrible at estimating time…

But as you continue to practice you will get better at it.

You will build an intuition for how long something will take…

Which in turn makes you even better at managing your time.

  1. Have your reference materials ready

To avoid procrastination then you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself to get started.

Any friction can to lead to procrastination.

Such as, if you need to call your local Walmart but you don’t have the phone number within reach…

Then you will have to first search for Walmart’s number.

This is an extra step or barrier to what you want to achieve.

This is a waste of time and if you are not in the right mood or state of mind you will procrastinate.

If you need to call someone then have the phone number as part of your action item.

Such as, instead of writing “Call Walmart and ask for availability of baby formula”.

You would write down “Call Walmart (123-555-5555) and ask for availability of Similac”.

If you need to go to a store then have its address attached to your notes of your action item.

If need to access a document then attach the document to your action item.

Make it easy for yourself to get things done straight away so you don’t waste time looking up reference materials.

  1. If You Miss A Task, Send it to Tomorrow’s List
    If You Miss A Task

Missing a couple of tasks here and there is normal.

You can’t predict with accuracy how long each activity will take to be completed.

The important thing is to not forget about those.

Instead send the tasks you missed today to the top of tomorrow’s to-do list.

My next post will be on procrastination 

Go to Wikihow to read: How to Make a To Do List

Read my latest blog on How to Create an Effective To-Do List 

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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