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May 25, 2022

The best ways to create a to-do list that works

The best ways to create a to-do list that works

With the tasks that each one of us needs to accomplish, we sometimes get overwhelmed and stressed. Figuring out how to get all of your tasks done in one day can be quite a struggle, and that is where making a to-do list can be helpful. However, the importance of to-do lists is often underestimated. In fact, a list could save you time, energy, and the need to come up with excuses for not doing the things that needed to be done. An excellent to-do list system will not only assist you in staying on top of your workflow but can also assist you in managing your daily life. Hence, we have asked business experts and professionals to share with you the best ways to create a to-do list that works.

Take your time to plan the list

One of the best ways to create a to-do list is to spend some time planning your worklist rather than rushing through it. Isolate yourself from the planning process if necessary by going to a different room in your house (or even going outside). This allows you to think over the chores before adding them to your to-do list. Try to devote at least 15 minutes to it when making your list.

Jay Soni MD of Yorkshire Fabric Shop

Keep it simple

Keep it simple. A to-do list should be easy to understand and quick to reference. Avoid adding too many details or using complicated language.

John Linden, Designer at MirrorCoop Design

Always add due dates

Always do it either late at night the previous day or first thing in the morning. I personally find doing it in the evening better because it helps me start my morning routine immediately. And one of the best ways to create a to-do list is to always add due dates or times by which you have to start/finish a task. This helped me so much to do my things on time and not stay up until very late to finish my day.

Elina Agnati, Owner of WhatAnimalsEat.com

Create a long term vs. short term lists

I generally like to keep two different to-do lists: A long-term one, where I’ll simply list anything that I’m meaning to get done, and a short-term one of tasks I’m going to complete in a given day. One of the hardest things for me about managing household chores, repairs, and improvements is simply keeping track of all of those things that only need to be done occasionally. The long-term list is great for simply keeping all of these tasks in mind so that I can better make a to-do list when I have time to spend on the house.

Todd Saunders, CEO of FlooringStores

Make it realistic

Try to include items on your list that you can complete that day or shortly. Set tasks that are within your capabilities and those you are confident you can complete. You may wind up delaying and eventually failing to complete your tasks if they are too ambiguous or tough. If work seems too vast or complicated, use your checklist to break it down into smaller parts.

Matthew Dailly, Managing Director at Tiger Financial

Keep it short

A checklist’s length does not indicate your productivity. Don’t try to cram too many activities into your schedule. A long to-do list might be frightening, which is counterproductive because it may prevent you from getting started.

Jenny Ly,  Professional travel blogger and Entrepreneur at Go Wanderly

Don’t procrastinate

One important thing is not allowing yourself the option of procrastinating on your tasks by making them too complicated or time-consuming. If you take longer than expected on one task, move it down in order until it fits with what you’re capable of completing in the day or week before moving on to the next. If you’re not sure which tasks fit into what time frame, consider how often you do them, how much time they take, and if you have any other commitments that might distract or impede your progress on these tasks.

Aaron Rice, Expert dog trainer and Co-Owner of Stayyy

Incorporate prioritization

A game-changing to-do list needs to incorporate prioritization. Without the structure of knowing what task to tackle first, there’s no clear path to success. For example, I organize my to-do list into categories of low and high-priority items. Before I move on to any of the more manageable tasks on my list, I always complete all high-priority items first.

Amrita Saigal,  CEO of Kudos

Use the right tool

If you’re a team leader or key decision-maker, you know how important it is to have everything on one platform so that nothing goes amiss. Using the right app or platform and making sure everyone has access to it is key. It not only helps you assign tasks but also decides what your to-do tasks are in relation to what is being completed by the team. Assigning time frames and breaking down tasks into smaller steps make to-do lists more manageable, while ensuring that work does not pile up.

Chris Roth, Founder at Highline Wellness

Use reminders

Use reminders on your phone or computer to stay on track with what needs to be done next (and when). For example, if someone has asked me for an update by Friday, I’ll set up an alarm on my phone reminding me at11 am every day this week so I don’t forget it.

Anders Rydholm, Founder & CEO of Prime Time Pokemon

Choose a digital to-do list that syncs with multiple devices

Using a cloud-based to-do list that syncs with multiple devices is really the way to go in today’s day and age. The best part about this feature is that it helps you keep track of all your tasks even when you’re switching between your laptop, desktop, or smartphone. It ensures that you’re always on top of things and have easy access to all the information you need even when you’re on the go — something notebooks or handwritten to-do lists can’t offer. In the long run, this is one of the best ways to create a to-do list when it comes to saving time and improving your overall productivity.

Harry Morton, Founder at Lower Street

Create a timetable

Estimate the time each task will take. Be realistic! You will create unnecessary stress if you over-commit yourself and constantly feel like you’re running out of time to get your list done. When you’re stressed, it’s challenging to be productive. Write down how much time you believe each task will take next. Plan your day around these time estimates. Allow yourself a 10- to 15-minute break between tasks. You can’t move from one duty to another without some transition period, so keep that in mind while planning your timetable.

Wesley Exon, CEO of RN to BSN Program

Be specific

One of the best ways to create a to-do list is when you are writing it out, be as specific as possible. This means that you should include details about what needs to be done. For example, instead of writing “clean the house,” you could write “vacuum the living room and dust the kitchen.” This will help you to be more efficient when you are completing your tasks.

Trevor Larson, CEO at Nectar

Make it look good

One of the best ways to create a to-do list is to make it look good. Whether you use pen and paper or an app on your phone, make sure your list looks nice and appealing to read. You are more likely to keep looking at it if it looks good!

David Rowland, Head of Digital Marketing at EcoOnline

Takeaways

Making a to-do list helps you to manage your tasks and helps you to become more productive. However, just having a to-do list is not enough, it needs to be effective to help you stay organized. We hope that the list of the best ways to create a to-do list that is mentioned above can help you have an effective task list that will help you prioritize the things you need to do and keep track of what still needs to be finished.

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