Ah, the mighty to-do list.
We’ve all heard the saying for myself that goes, “if it makes it to the to-do list it’ll get done, if it doesn’t then it doesn’t get done”, right? Having a to-do list can be an amazing tool for staying organized, productive, and efficient. But it also is a thorn in many of our sides. I have been working on mastering the to-do list process for, well, years. I think I’ve finally nailed down a process that works for me and I wanted to share it with you!
10 Steps to Build a Super Efficient To-Do List
- Pick up a notebook to keep all your lists and notes in. I find it so much easier to be able to keep all my scribbles together to reference when I need to. I have an 8×10 notebook with a golden pineapple on the front and lined pages that I absolutely love. I feel chic and organized.
- When writing out your to-do list try and group things together when possible. I can usually do pretty well with this when I’m initially writing out my list but I find things get a little scattered – color coding can help with this.
- Highlight priority tasks. I currently have two levels of priority – yellow for high priority and pink for the very near future.
- Review your calendar and note deadlines on your to-do list next to the corresponding task.
- Add some fun to-do’s like ‘schedule dinner with a friend’. This helps keep you engaged with your list, keeping it from turning into the mundane.
- Keep your Bucket List separate from your to-do list. You may include tasks that need to be completed to work towards setting up something for your bucket list though. For example, scheduling an appointment, booking a hotel, buying tickets, or picking up needed supplies.
- Use the box and cross-out method in conjunction. Check or ‘x’ the box when the task is started or in progress, and cross out when complete.
- Re-write your list routinely, for me that’s weekly, you’ll notice some things change. Some things are added, and some things fall off. Keeping your to-do list up to date will help you manage the tasks and deadlines.
- Review your to-do list daily. I review mine three times a day – once in the morning, once mid-day, and once in the evening. This helps me add things that come to mind and helps me manage what needs to be completed on that day or the next.
- Keep it close by. I take my notebook with me almost everywhere. If I am going somewhere I can’t take it, then I’ll write out a short list on a post-it to stick in my pocket. This keeps my top priorities in front of me for the day. This also helps me to plan them into my day. For instance, if I’m going to the grocery store and need to ship I package I can map it out for when I’m passing a mailbox or a shipping center.