When your to-do list is all over the place, it becomes a hassle to complete. You get flustered with how much needs to get done that you end up getting nothing done! A to-do list’s primary function is to remind you of what needs to get done. Nothing more, nothing less. The CGS Team is sharing 5 ways to take on your to-do list and get stuff done.
#1 Plan your to-do list for the week ahead
Since most work weeks start on Monday, creating your to-do list on Sunday for the week ahead is best. Don’t wait until Monday morning to think about what needs to get done during the week. You’ll be distracted with work and may leave an important task off of the list. Setting your to-do list for the week ahead will also help avoid adding any “fluff” to your list. Certain goals may be on your priorities list, but do they need to be completed this week? If not, leave them off the list.
#2 Set a realistic to-do list
Since your to-do list is reminding you of the tasks that need to be completed, it’s important to make sure it is actually realistic. Sure, you may want to learn a new language, but is that something that needs to be done this week? Keeping your to-do list realistic will keep you on track and allow you to get things done that will lead to your ultimate goal. Here is an example of a realistic to-do list versus an unrealistic to-do list.
Instead of setting vague to-do items, which are ultimately just goals, set to-do tasks to help you get closer to your ultimate goal. These tasks now become projects, as opposed to missions. Small projects are a lot easier to work towards than bigger projects.
#3 Prioritize your tasks
Although your to-do list might have 20 items on it, the reality is that you’re only going to get a few tasks done each day. Make sure the most important tasks are at the very top of your list. Before moving on to the rest of your list, make sure you get the high priority tasks completed first. It’s human nature to find the easiest task to complete and leave the harder, more time-consuming tasks for later. Resist the urge to procrastinate! If your most important to-do item is time-consuming, start working on it first thing.
#4 Lose the distractions
When you find the time to take on the tasks of your to-do list, make sure you ditch any distractions until the task is completed. It’s very tempting to hop on social media, browse the internet, or text a friend when you should be focusing on the task at hand. Distractions will only keep you from completing your tasks. If you need to, schedule designated days and times to get your tasks completed. Block off time in your calendar for the tasks and get them done.
#5 Reward yourself
Blogger Catherine Alford hit the nail on the head with this one! “Rewarding yourself is probably the most important part of getting a to-do list done. After all, we’re no different than a 5-year-old who gets dessert if he eats all of his vegetables. To keep you motivated throughout the day’s highs and lows, promise yourself something if you complete a specific number of tasks. It could be as simple as watching a quick Netflix show during your lunch break or heading out for a manicure when your work is all done.”
Related: Tackling Your To-Do List
Remember, your to-do list is just a form of reminder for the things that need to get done. Don’t procrastinate your goals! Take on your to-do list with the tips above and stay focused. You may be surprised at how much stuff gets done! What tips do you have for setting or following a to-do list? How often do you plan your tasks? Post a comment below to share your productivity tips!