I’d like to consider myself to be an organized person.
In some regards, I am, and in some I’m a work in progress. I tend to be five minutes late, but my room is clean and I get my homework done on time.
And I make to-do lists.
As a part of my nighttime routine, I make a to-do list every night. It helps me to stay organized and know what I’m doing so that I don’t get too distracted or forget to do things.
The benefits of makIng to-do lists
Making to-do lists has been game-changing for my productivity and organization.
Here are some of the benefits of making to-do lists:
Overall, to-do lists help you to be more productive and organized. When you know what you need to do and when you need to do it, it’s much easier for you to follow through on goals and commitments.
Plus, I’ll give you a bonus benefit:
It feels really good to cross things off the list.
5 Ways To Make More EFFECTIVE To-Do Lists
Here are five tips to help you make more effective to-do lists that increase your productivity without stressing you out:
1. Write everything down. Well, almost everything. Don’t write absolutely everything you could possibly think of because that’s just STRESSFUL, but I like to write little things like making my bed or brushing my teeth just so that I can check it off. If you don’t enjoy checking things off, you can probably skip this, but if you do, feel free to write down the little things :)
2. Categorize it. Make sure you distinguish between the “nice to get done” and “needs to get done” lists. You can write a little star next to the ones that are more essential. That way you don’t feel pressured to do all fifty things on your to-do list, especially if you follow my advice and write even the little things down.
3. Don’t stress about it. To-do lists are meant to make life less stressful, not make you feel worse for not getting everything done. There will be some days when tasks go unchecked, and you have to resist the urge to get stressed out about it.
4. Reflect. Reflecting on your day can help you to be more productive the next day by realizing what helps you be more productive and what inhibits your productivity.
*Make sure to check out my post on 10 end of day reflection questions and my post on 15 morning reflection questions to set you up for success.
Remember: life is not just a checklist. Slow down and enjoy the moment, too. If your to-do list doesn’t leave you enough time to spend with friends and family and sleep and doing things you enjoy, it’s a to-do list worth rethinking.
You don’t have to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Don’t let it stress you out, let it help you be less stressed and feel more organized.
What to Use To Make Your To-Do List
Get a to-do list journal
I have a journal from Walgreens that is specific to to-do lists. It has 15 daily tasks as well as boxes to check them off when you’re done.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the link to the one I use, but there's tons of them out there, so explore your options and find one that works well for you.
Use a notebook
You could simply use an old notebook or journal and make check boxes yourself or cross it off when you’re all done.
Use a sticky note
This option is similar to using a notebook because you just write down the task and then cross it off or make check boxes to show when you’ve completed it.
If you’d rather not have a collection of to-do lists (like you would in the form of a notebook), then sticky notes are a good option.
Use a whiteboard
Whiteboards are handy because then you don’t have to use paper every day. They're also fun to write on :)
Put it in your planner
You can just write out all your tasks for the day in your planner and then cross them off when you’re all done.
Here are some of the takeaways from today:
If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to check out my posts on 6 Ways to Prepare for Your Week; How to Balance School, Sports, and Life; and 4 Ways To Find Balance For Achievement-Oriented People.