While many people find to-do lists super helpful for the completion of tasks, others don’t. They believe seeing all the tasks on your list will leave you more overwhelmed and stressed than before especially when the tasks seem too many.

When people feel this way, it is less of the to-do list not working and more of why it isn’t working. There could be a few things wrong with the way the list was put together. For example:

  • Not prioritizing the items on the list properly.
  • Constantly adding items to the list and not taking out.
  • Jumbling up different categories of tasks. E.g.: mixing work tasks and home tasks.

If your list looks anything close to this, you have been doing it all wrong. Keep reading, we will share a thing or two, or maybe more on how you can and should create your list so it serves you. But before then, I will like to highlight just a few benefits of working with a to-do list;

  • You know exactly what you need to get done.
  • The likelihood of forgetting tasks is close to none because you have them all written down.
  • Creating a list helps you with planning.
  • A to-do list serves as a guide throughout the day.
  • Putting down your tasks on paper and out of your mind has a way of making you feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
  • Striking out items from the list after they have been done gives this sense of accomplishment and serves as a motivation to keep going.

To-do lists work and are very helpful when and only when done effectively. If your list is not done right, it is nothing more than a pointless exercise. Here are some things to note for your next to-do list;

  • Decide what works for you; Choose whatever medium you prefer the most to have your list on. If you’ll rather have it on your phone, go for it. But if you think your phone is going to be a distraction to you, then have it handwritten on a piece of paper or book. The secret is that you can’t create your list on what your dread making use of.
  • List out all the tasks you need to get done; there is nothing too big or small to go on your list. All you need to do is take a moment to think about all your tasks and put them down as you remember them. At this stage, you don’t necessarily have to worry about organizing them just yet. The most important thing is for you to put them all down. This is so you’re certain that no task is being forgotten or left out.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help; after compiling your list, see if you can get some help. Pass on responsibilities you do not necessarily have to handle yourself. This is particularly necessary for cases when you have quite a lot to do with so little time to do them and you have to fight the urge to micromanage.
  • Categorize your tasks; after outsourcing as many tasks as you can, it’s time to organize the others left on the list. You can categorize them under as many titles as possible e.g.; home tasks, school tasks, work tasks, etc. This is going to help you gain clarity and focus as you concentrate on one set of tasks at a time. You have no business thinking about home tasks when you are working on school or work tasks.
  • Put down due dates for each task; put down the date each task is due and arrange them based on deadlines. When that is done, you can go further to set a time estimate that is how long you think it’s going to take you to complete each task. You have to be completely realistic so it does not constantly feel like you’re running out of time or so you don’t have too many incomplete tasks. This is very necessary especially when you have more than one task with similar due dates.
  • Take breaks; the importance of short breaks cannot be over emphasized. Between tasks, give yourself about 20 minutes to refresh and prepare for the next. This prevents burnout and exhaustion. It is not even realistically possible to switch from one task to another without some time interval.

Some other details that seem small but will go a really long way are;

  1. Making your list visually appealing; you can write it down on some fancy paper or post it on a pretty board. I for one know this keeps me inspired to look at it hence keeping me aware of them but in a much more fun and interesting way.
  2. Putting your list somewhere you will see it regularly; put it in your face. Yes, I said it. Make sure you are constantly aware of it. You may think that you will not forget anything, but physically seeing a list of tasks to complete can really light the motivational fire within you.

So long story short, grab a pen and a paper or whatever medium you choose and with a clear and calm mind, offload everything in your head onto your list because you have everything you need to make it work.

… And don’t forget, when your to-do list gets overwhelming, you can always outsource your tasks to the right professionals on ubuy-services (ubuy.ng)




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