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Building the Perfect To-Do List

Having a mountain of to-dos might seem daunting at first. You might question where to start or what to prioritize. This can create analysis paralysis and cause avoidance of daily tasks. To prevent this from happening, you can try making a to-do list.

How to Make a To-Do List That Works For You

  1. Choose a format. Do you want to use a whiteboard? Scrap paper? A planner notebook? Or an app?

  2. Set up a template. You may need to configure your template to include features like tasks (and sub tasks), start date/time, end date/time, priority and status.

  3. Write down everything you need to get done. You do not have to fill up an entire page. Try to keep it under 30 tasks to make it manageable.

  4. Work on organizing the list. Prioritize tasks that have approaching due dates. Ask yourself questions such as: When is this task due? Which tasks will take longer for me to complete? What tasks will be the most beneficial for me to complete? What have I been avoiding? Can I delay a task without consequences?

  5. Update and complete the to-do list. Start with the task you’ve prioritized. Make sure to cross them off as you go. Once you’ve finished your high-priority tasks, you can move on to lower-priority tasks. If you miss an item on your to-do list, circle it and rewrite the task as high priority for the next day’s list.

Whether you have a lot on your plate or not, starting your day by making (or updating) a to-do list is a surefire way to get a grip on everything necessary you have to do.

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