Monday, January 13, 2014

How to: Make the Perfect To-Do List

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Hi there! It’s the start of the week, so I thought it’d be appropriate to post this now. Something that I really, really love writing are lists. I write a least one everyday and it’s usually a to-do list. Sometimes, okay a lot of the times, they’re really specific and ambitious, but lately, I’ve found ways to make them more manageable and realistic so I can check everything off my list by the end of the day. Writing to-do lists are great ways to stay organised, so here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

Step #1: Make a list.

That step’s pretty self-explanatory. Make a list of the things you have to get done for the day, but don’t stress out about it. It’s just a rough draft of the actual one. If you can make the list early in the morning, it’d be best because you’ll feel really motivated throughout the day, but if you’re, say in school and you know you’re going to get more tasks to do as the day goes by, make it as soon as you possibly can afterwards.

For this step, I’d suggest writing it down on paper, like a sticky note or a mini notebook because it is just a rough draft.

Step #2: Be specific.

Now that you have all the things you need to do, be very, very specific about it. Don’t write really vague things like “start English project” because you’ll only confuse yourself and make your goal harder to reach. Just don’t go too crazy to the point where your task can’t fit onto two lines.

Step #3: Figure out your priorities.

Put a little star or something like that beside the tasks that you absolutely have to finish that day. The things that aren’t a huge priority can get another symbol and the ones that are even lower on your list of priorities can get another symbol.

Step #4: Add times.

This doesn’t mean add the time of the day you want to get a certain task done, but rather how long you think it’s going to take. Always give yourself a bit extra time. That’s something I always neglect to do and a to-do list that is not completely checked off is just the worst. Avoid that by giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to do something.

Step #5: Make the final list.

Now that you have all those bits and bobs out of the way, you can finally make your to-do list for the day. Write it on paper or on your phone… whichever works best for you and that you can keep with you at all times. On this list, add the times of the day you want to start and finish the task by. It really does help, but once again, be realistic and don’t stretch yourself too thin.

Step #6: Keep an eye on the clock.

You obviously don’t want to be rushing when you’re completing your tasks, but just check the time every now and then so you get a decent idea of how you’re doing and if you need to alter your list/times a bit to be able to complete everything.

Are you a to-do list writer? How do you usually go about writing your lists? What are your tips to make sure that you check everything off? Share your thoughts below!

Thank you so much for reading!
- J


  1. Great tips! Between uni and blogging, we have come to realise we need to be masters of to do lists!! We totally agree about giving yourself extra time, because nothing is worse than the feeling of defeat and sheer stress that comes when you fail to get something done on time.

    1. I definitely agree that blogging takes up a lot of time, so to-do lists are key to managing a schedule. - J