Perfecting Your To-Do List

 

 

When you think of a to-do list you probably think of a never ending “wish list”- a long list of jobs  that don’t get done. This is down to a lack of two things: organization and prioritization. When your day starts to feel out of control and you have a bunch of things to do, a prioritized, neat and organized to do list is essential for re-gaining your focus. Every night make it a habit to come up with a perfected to-do list and watch your day turn productive.

A technique I use for prioritizing and organizing my list of undertakings is dividing the book I use (with post it marker tabs) into two parts: must (A-high priority) and want (B-low priority). Tasks in my must list must be finished today because they are urgent and important and help me to accomplish a certain goal. Typical tasks may include study two chapters of pathophysiology or finish assignment for medicinal chemistry. However the tasks in my want section are not related to my goals and will get done if I have time AFTER finishing my other list. Usually my list of wants comprises jobs like cleaning out the fridge or doing the laundry. Also, to be super organized, the tasks in both my lists are arranged and numbered (in order of decreasing importance) so that even if I’m not able to finish everything I had originally planned to, I’m glad because I have finished the tasks on the top of my list (the more important ones). Any tasks that I haven’t been able to complete are re-scheduled for the next day.

Tip: Try to begin your tasks with verbs such as call, review, print, buy, organize, email etc. The verbs themselves are your work. Writing your tasks in such a way makes them appear much more easier and ”do-able.”

Remember that your to-do list should, at its best, only include tasks that can be done NOW (theoretically you should be able to choose any task from your list and start on it straight away). Jotting down a task like ”upload product details to website” when you haven’t even got a website sorted, isn’t something you can work on now. Instead you could jot down “work on getting a website.” Now that’s the correct way to go about making to-do lists!  

That’s basically all there is to it. Simple yet surprisingly very effective!

What do you find to be the best way to writing up a to-do list? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box! 🙂

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Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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