How to Make a To-Do List

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Invest just a little time planning your day, and accomplish more things smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendars
  • Pens
  • Personal Organizers

Instructions

  1. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning to jot a to-do list for the day.

  2. Use any format that is comfortable for you'try writing in your daily planner. Make sure your list is on one page and can be carried with you wherever you go.

  3. Try assigning tasks to hourly slots, even if exact timing isn't crucial.

  4. Fill in preset, mandatory appointments such as business meetings or child-pickup times.

  5. Prioritize tasks in order of urgency, and write those down before less important ones.

  6. Figure out when, during the day, you are most productive and alert. Schedule the more demanding tasks during these times.

  7. Schedule an easy job after a difficult one or a long task after a short one to keep yourself stimulated.

  8. Indicate time for breaks and time to spend with family and friends.

  9. In addition to your daily schedule, keep an ongoing list of projects that you need to accomplish, but haven't penciled into your daily list ' things to fix around the house, bills to mail, people to call. Update this list at least once a week.

  10. Try keeping a list of long-term goals. For example, you might be planning to remodel your home or return to school for an advanced degree.

  11. Make a running list for leisure or entertainment goals - books to read, videos to rent, restaurants/bars/clubs to try. Write down names as you hear or read about them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Schedule things comfortably, allowing time for unexpected delays or mishaps; avoid an impossibly tight timetable.
  • Be sure to list everything you need to accomplish'the more you can account for, the more smoothly your day will run and the less you need to remember.
  • Break down large projects into specific tasks before writing them down on your list.
  • Feel free to revise your list, as necessary, as the day goes on.

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