We all know the feeling when keeping track of all the things that need to get done starts to overwhelm us and cause anxiety. Are there really enough hours in a day to get everything you need done?
Luckily, there is a simple way to release this anxiety and it involves breaking down your goals into daily to-do lists.This makes even your greatest challenges manageable by taking them in smaller, step-by- step measures.
The only problem with to-do lists is that they tend to get a bit overwhelming themselves. After all, what’s worse than a giant list of things you haven’t achieved yet that seems to keep growing without an end in sight?
Well, to make things a little simpler, there are tips on how to write a to-do list that you actually get done, so you can feel lighter, more organized and most importantly, get your important business taken care of!
Nothing can blow up a daily to-do list than an entry such as “Learn A New Language.” Sure, there might be a larger list somewhere that houses all of your long-term desires, but for daily lists, keep your tasks manageable and realistic. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and perceived failure by expecting too much in a timeframe that just doesn’t allow it.
If you do want to tackle a larger challenge, break it down into smaller steps such as “Research language learning tools online,” or “Read Chapter 1 of my French textbook.”
Your daily to-do lists tasks should have a certain hierarchy, in that some are bound to be more important and timely than others. Keep these high-priority tasks at the top of your list, that way even if you get the first few of these done throughout your day, you’ve still taken care of what was most pressing.
Be sure to always keep important documents and deadlines ahead of relatively menial tasks like sweeping the porch.
When putting together your list, it’s important to get specific about what tasks you’re hoping to achieve. The more detail and thought you put into this now, the less time and effort it will likely require to get done.
For example, and entry like “Plan a trip,” is really general and it can take hours just to figure out what and where this trip should be. Add detail to make next day’s work more targeted and clear.
Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in each day, so to make your to-do list really manageable, you should assign your tasks their proper time slot. Whether you use an electronic or a paper calendar, plan your daily tasks according to the time that they require to complete, and be sure to schedule in time for lunch and other needed breaks.
Even if the day doesn’t go exactly as planned, at least you gave yourself a concrete schedule.
If you want to save time and make your daily tasks more efficient, group your to-do list according to similarity. If, for instance, you have three different tasks related to the same business or customer, group those together to make them easily combinable. You can then allot enough time to a call or a meeting that takes care of all of the tasks in one fell swoop.
It’s tempting to get ambitious when it comes to planning tomorrow’s schedule, but you’ll get much more success and satisfaction out of a smaller to-do list that you can actually complete.
Try to keep it down to no more than 10 entries per day. If you have much more than that, re-evaluate their urgency and try to reschedule the unnecessary ones to another day.
A to-do list can be a great tool to help you get organized and reach your goals; however, unfinished to-do lists can have the exact opposite effect. To make sure your to-do lists stays manageable, keep it specific, short and strategic according to your needs.
You’ll be surprised at the boost in confidence and motivation you can get from a completed to-do list at the end of your day. Keep setting attainable and structured goals for yourself daily and watch yourself get closer to your dreams step by step!
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