Many of us have to-do lists. But do you have a to-do list that actually helps you get the important stuff done? Check out these quick to-do list tips and get inspired to update your to-do list.
To-do lists are great to keep track of what you want to, and need to, get done.
It’s also a great way for many of us to offload our brains and free up mental space.
But many times our to-do lists can start to feel like the source of stress and not the other way around. It’s like the list keeps on growing and nothing ever gets checked off. Or at least not at the same rate as we add to it.
Before We Get Started
There are different types of to-do lists:
- the ones where you focus on different areas of your life, like a to-do list focused on your side hustle, a project etc
- the ones where you focus on a specific time frame, e.g. to keep track of the tasks for the day
And of course, these to-do lists can be mixed into one large, all-encompassing to-do list as well. Today I’ll be focusing on the specific time frames version of daily to-do lists.
1. Decide on your top priorities
Decide on your one to three top priorities for the day. This is by far the most important step to actually make progress on what’s most important.
If you don’t set priorities you’re off to the races and probably spend too much time on all those easy and not-so-important things.
2. Break it down
Make sure to break down the tasks to bite-sized tasks. It’s not a good idea to have big tasks like ’start my own bullet journal’. Instead break it down to smaller tasks like ’buy a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted version’, ’create a monthly overview of next month’ and so on.
This helps to actually get started as the tasks won’t feel too big to tackle. Plus, as you make progress you can start checking things off, even though you haven’t completed the bigger task. And this is so psychologically important, to feel like we make progress!
3. Time estimate each task
I know this is difficult, but do a rough time estimate of what you think each task will take as you write them on the list. This will help prepare for the next tip…
4. Only include what you have time to do
I think I’m not alone in creating huge to-do lists, many times not reflecting on the fact it would take way more time than I actually have right now to complete the tasks.
That’s why it’s a great idea to do the time estimation, then make sure you only add as many tasks as you have time to actually do. This is common sense, but maybe not common practice as my pep-talker Brendon Burchard says.
Doing this is one of the main steps that will keep you from feeling overwhelmed by all the things you set out to accomplish on any given day.
5. Be flexible
If new tasks come up during the day you can, of course, add them to your to-do list for the day. Just remember you’ll probably need to remove some other task from the list if you’re gonna have a chance of completing the list.
BONUS: Have a ’brain dump’ somewhere else
You don’t want to add new tasks to your daily to-do list as you come up with them or remember stuff. The best thing is to have a separate list where you add everything that needs to get done.
Well, there you have it. I hope you found these tips helpful, and if you want to leave a comment you can do so in the comments below or over on Instagram.
Until next time,
PS. Are you into Bullet Journaling and want some ideas on how to set up a goal layout that will help you actually reach your goals? Check out How I use my Bullet Journal to set (and achieve) my monthly goals.