There’s nothing that I love more than a well organized to-do list. Actually, that isn’t entirely true. There’s nothing I love more than crossing off an item on a well organized to-do list. Whether you prefer to keep your to-do list electronic or scrawled out on post-it notes, to-do lists can be a great way to keep your priorities in order. Here are a few tips I’ve found work best for me, and hopefully they’ll help you avoid some frantic manic Mondays.
Visibility is Key
A to-do list should be very, very visible. If you like to keep it on your computer, make sure the file stays open somewhere on your desktop for reference. If you prefer a physical copy, try post-it notes. You can stick to-do lists anywhere, and carry them around with you if you change location. One of my personal favorite ways to have a portable to-do list is to write it on a post-it note, then attach it to the outside cover of my planner. That way, when I’m doing work, I can keep both my planner and my to-do list within arm’s reach.
Cross it Off
What would a to-do list be without crossing off accomplishments? Rather than erasing an item off the to-do list, why not try marking it in a different way? Looking at a totally crossed off to-do list can be really satisfying, and also motivate you to keep going!
Arranging Isn’t Just for Flowers
A to-do list should be carefully arranged for best use, but you need to figure out what works best for you. I like to put easy, quick tasks near the top and weightier ones near the bottom. Some people may prefer mixing tasks up based on difficulty level. No matter what you do, make sure to have your to-do list arranged in a way that works for you.
Throw Yourself a Bone
If you only weigh down your to-do list with long tasks, you may lack some motivation. If you need a boost, add in some smaller tasks that have to get done that are what I like to call easy checkers. Sure, that twenty-five page research paper is due tomorrow, but you also have to send an e-mail to your advisor by 3:30, so add that to your to-do list! Small accomplishments always motivate me to move on to bigger ones.
What are some tips that you use to help your to-do list become all that it can be?