Monday, January 28, 2013

4 Ways to Feel Good About Your Daily To-Do List

Lists keep me organized & I love daily to-do lists.

They help me stay on track for the day and not get lost in the twitter-verse, on facebook, or anywhere else in the deep, dark, never-ending hole that can be the internet.

My go-to organizational tools are Google Calendar, TeuxDeux (on both the computer and my iPhone), and a pen & paper.

I write out my to-do lists every day. Appointments that I need to keep and special dates go on the calendar. All the tasks that I need to accomplish get put on TeuxDeux -- my favorite feature is that tasks roll over to the next day if they aren't crossed off. For everything else that I need to get done around the house I make a daily to-do list on paper.

I rarely ever check off everything on my list, and that's okay. To-do lists are more about keeping me on track to work on the important things throughout the day and not about making sure every last thing gets done before I go to sleep.

Here are four things I do that make daily to-do lists work for me
  1. Write down all the stuff you have to do: Not just the important things, not just the business/work stuff, not just the physical tasks. Write it all down. There are so many things that we have to do throughout the day that sometimes they overwhelm the other responsibilities we have and at the end of the day it looks like nothing has been accomplished. So make a habit of writing it all down
  2. Break it up into smaller tasks: Instead of 'Cook Dinner'; write out some steps: Take the meat out of the freezer, chop vegetables, pre-heat the oven. This way you can start to accomplish your big tasks
  3. Add already accomplished tasks:  Add on the extra stuff you had to do but already accomplished. It will help your to-do list feel more complete (and accurate). 
  4. Start your to-do list the day before: At the end of the day, I'll start my to-do list for tomorrow. It helps me to de-stress and no longer worry about everything that needs to get done tomorrow because I know when I wake up its already on the list 
A daily to-do list shouldn't be just a list of things that you need to accomplish by the end of the day. It also needs to be a list of the things you have accomplished and your progress throughout the day.

PS - If you love lists, make sure you check out the next round of 30 Days of Lists coming in March!