How To Make A Better To Do List


What’s currently on your to do list?

Most of us are obsessed with keeping a journal, to-do lists and planners but actually accomplishing the items is a different story.

Do you ever feel guilty that you didn’t check off all the tasks in your to do list?

Let’s change that today.

Here’s 4 Tips to Make A Better To Do List

1. Maintain ONE master list

I’m looking at you grocery planner, blog to-do’s, office tasks everything you put in your calendar and digital tools. It is not helping you to accomplish anything – what it actually does is overwhelm you.

Ken Zeigler, a productivity expert suggests to have ONE planner (as the old-school-way if far more effective for retention) where you keep all to-do items (whether financial, personal or professional) for an entire week.

2. Batch your tasks

Review your master list daily and transfer action items onto a daily list, which should be in electronic form to make it easily portable and accessible from multiple devices (i.e. Google Sheets, Reminder app in your phone)

This list should be batched, or separated, into groups of similar tasks (like the three separate emails you must answer in the next hour or the five errands you need to run in town).

Zeigler explains that batching tasks improves productivity. “By working on all of the similar tasks, it will prevent your jumping from task to task and help you focus on one type at a time,” he says.

3. Work towards larger goals

Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get The Right Things Done, has created his own method for a list that tackles not just the minutiae of daily life, but your larger goals. It’s called the “18 Minutes to-do list.”

To get started, you identify no more than five goals for the year—both personal and professional—and generate your daily to-dos keeping those annual goals in mind.

Read: Here’s How To Do Goal Setting The Right Way

Of course, there is space for the unavoidable minutiae, which is called the other 5 percent, because according to Bregman, you shouldn’t be spending more than 5 percent of your time on these tasks.

4. Setting expiration dates

When setting yourself up for success, next week isn’t an effective time limit. “There’s a tremendous amount of research that points to the fact that if you decide when and where you’re going to do something, you’ll do it,” says Bregman.

If items stay on your list for more than three days, Bregman gives you three options: Do it right away, put it on your calendar for a specific time in the future (place the hardest and most important items at the beginning of the day), or delete it.

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