To Do Lists: Best Practices

To Do Lists: Best Practices

A to-do list can be a great guide for us. Here we discuss best practices for maximizing this life tool. It can feel overwhelming or pointless to create a to-do list. However, when our tasks or ideas are just floating around in our heads, they can cause anxiety and confusion. When we get them onto paper (or into a word document) we get the information out of our heads and into the world. Then, we can be as productive and calm as possible. Here are some tips and tricks for writing your most functional to do list yet.

Choose your medium wisely. If you’re more of a computer person, you might want to put your list in a google document. If you like old fashioned pen and paper, go for it. Or maybe you like the iPhone notes section. Whatever your preference, it’s important that you choose a to do list medium that will work for you and your lifestyle.

Be as specific as possible while writing your list. Avoid vague language and be as specific as possible with your list! Break big tasks down into smaller, incremental action points.

Include even the small tasks. There’s no task too small for an effective to do list! When you include even the seemingly automatic tasks like showering or going for a walk, you get in the habit of using the list and checking it off.

Check things off! Don’t forget to check things off the list. This will get your brain into achievement mode. You can even set up a reward system, i.e. you get to take a break and watch TV once you cross off the first three items.

Include timestamps. Use dates and times, including deadlines and when you’ll be performing the task on the list. This will keep you on track.

Include fun things, too. Avoid associating your to-do list with dread and burdens! Include fun things like hanging out with friends, walking your dog, laying in the sun, or spending time outdoors.


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