Few things feel better than ending the day with every item on your to-do list checked off. But why do some people make this look so easy? What’s their secret? While making a simple task list of what you need to get done seems intuitive, there’s a true art in building and mastering one that consistently puts you ahead.
So, where to start? Try to resist the urge to list daily tasks, like checking your email or going to standing weekly meetings. Those are a given. And will likely just bog down your to-do list, overshadowing your real goals and priorities.
Start by focusing on three to five goals each day. Adding too many tasks to your list will just keep you in the weeds. What are tasks you can easily—and if you’re being honest—probably should delegate to another team member? Once you edit out those items, review your list again to make sure these are the highest priority items for the day and week.
How To Build Your List:
Plan For Tomorrow At The End of Each Day:
Rank Your Tasks By Importance. Those critical and urgent tasks are usually the ones that give us the most stress. Try restructuring your to-do list by listing the most important goals first. If you can swing it, try knocking those out first since they will require the most energy and the tasks that follow will seem easier.
If you are too vague when creating your to-do list, you’ll spend more time trying to figure out what you were thinking when you made that to-do than actually carrying out the task. When in planning mode, set-up a small plan of attack. Quickly listing out the steps to accomplish your to-do will help streamline the process.
Use a tool.
Google Keep is my go-to note taking app. You can easily make to-do lists, take long form notes, voice memos, and take photos – plus, it syncs with Google Drive. Other great to-do list resources are Todoist, Evernote, and, if you want to get creative, Bullet Journaling.
Remember at the end of each day, before crafting tomorrow’s list, take a few minutes to acknowledge what you accomplished for the day. Do you notice anything about what you were and weren’t able to accomplish for the day? Do the same items keep getting ignored? Creating a to-do list can be overwhelming, but there’s a great sense of accomplishment in watching yourself become more focused and productive. If a few items on your list just can’t seem to get done, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your list and prioritize.