With most of us at home due to coronavirus, the need for finding a way to keep work and daily tasks in order seems imminent. Keeping a To-Do list is one such way.
To-do lists are often thought of as one-way tickets to feeling productive. They create order in your life, help break down complicated projects into doable tasks and are a way through which you can prioritize effectively and create clarity in your day. However, for some people, to-do lists can be frustrating. When they look at all the things that need to be done and have no idea how to do them, they get more stressed. This ends up being counterproductive. So, we thought we’d share a few ways through which you can get the maximum benefit out of a to-do list!
Know Your End Goal
Before writing a to-do list, it’s important to know why you’re writing it. Everyone has a particular goal they want to achieve. Whether it’s working towards completing a big project, getting a sought after promotion, running a business efficiently, getting fit in a certain time period- you need to be clear about exactly what it is you want to commit yourself to.
Once you know your final destination, it’s time to figure out a plan for getting there and as soon as there’s a plan in mind, you have to follow it on a day to day basis. The truth is, this is the only way a to-do list will work. If you start writing one without an aim, you’ll end up losing motivation in a couple of days and give up. However, when you’re certain about the light at the end, it would make you that much more determined to cross through the tunnel.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Imagine you’re sitting in an exam where you can only use a pencil and you haven’t sharpened said pencil. Obviously, the first thing you need to do is sharpen it. However, as you go about it, you realize that you’re unsatisfied after every twist of the sharpener.
You want it to be perfect in order to be able to write your paper smoothly. So you keep at it and before you know it, time runs out and you haven’t filled anything in. It’s important to realize that sometimes, we invest so much time doing irrelevant things that we have nothing left for the tasks that actually need attention.
This is why the key to an effective to-do list is getting the most important and urgent task done first and then head over to others.
It’s not unnatural to be overzealous with a to-do list. Sometimes, in the spirit of the moment, we jot every single thing down and drag our lists to drastic lengths.
The problem with a to-do list that contains a huge number of tasks is that it’s impossible to complete. Once you see that you’ve failed to complete your tasks for the day it sucks away the energy and dampens your motivation for following it.
So, it’s best to start slow and limit your list to a few important tasks that absolutely need to be done and then expand from there. Instead of setting up yourself to fail, it’s better to keep a manageable list that would encourage you to stick to it.
Don’t Obsess Over It
A to-do list is just an estimate of what you can and should do in a day and that estimate does not cover unforeseen events. You can’t possibly know what will transpire in a day and whether or not you’ll be in the mental space to follow through with certain tasks or not. So, in case you could not get something done due to a genuine reason, it’s necessary to realize that that’s fine.
Some people become so focused on ticking things off their list that they lose sight of the bigger goal. They even resort to doing tasks half-heartedly just so they can get done with them. Never do that. It’s better to leave something altogether than not giving it your all. Remember that To-do lists are just tools that are there to help you reach your goal, they themselves are not the goal.
Do to-do lists feel less intimidating now? Do you have a better idea of how to write yours? If yes, download the Squadly app and get on with making your very own to-do list today!