create to do list

How To Create To Do List That *Actually* Gets Your Work Done!

A To do list? I’m sure it’s not new to your ears.

But if you didn’t hear it before or have no clue how to get started with it or your list is not getting your work done, let me help you! Just give me a chance to make your day productive, in fact every hour of your day productive. Once you reach the end of the article, you’ll probably be the ‘to do list’ master and consequently make all your days productive.

You know the satisfaction you get when all your targets of the day get fulfilled; that sigh oh! I wish to feel it every night before I hop into my bed. Trust me, that sleep is sweeter and more peaceful. 

The satisfaction was just one minor benefits of embracing to do list in life. There’s so much more to it mate. It’s not just some random word list, it’s your path to being efficient and successful. Completion of every task on your to do list takes you one step closer to that successful life you’ve dreamt of. 

Well, I think you should know a few more reasons of why to do list transforms your life magically. Let’s get started!

How To Do List Organizes Your Life Magically?

If you think ‘magically’ is too much for a to do list, trust me the to do list seriously has productive results. Well, it does depend on your consistency and diligence too. But if you do embrace to do list seriously, your life could see a great turn.

Let me break it down and explain you concisely. Have a look at the benefit of utilizing to do list:

  1. Decreases Pressure & Stress – Quite obvious right? If you’ve got everything well planned and you diligently complete your tasks of the to do list on time, stress won’t even fit in your life. So no worries of late submission, deadlines or piled up work land up in your nightmares. You live a stress and pressure free life.
  1. Helps You Stay Organized & Prepared – To do list aids you do everything in a sorted way. You may be having a myriad of tasks but when you put it all in monthly, weekly and daily to do list, everything seems organized. You pick tasks one by one and finish them precisely. 
  1. Offers You Mental Satisfaction – When you finally complete everything you have planned for the day, you get a different kind of mental relaxation.  Your mind and heart know that you have worked hard today and there’s pending or piled up. You feel calm, peaceful and happy.
  1. Saves Time For Other Things – If you have got a huge number of tasks for the day and have no systematic plan to complete them, you may not even be able to do half of the tasks on time. But if you have fabricated an efficient to do list with all the time slots assigned to each tasks, you end up achieving all your targets on time or even before time at times. Thus, you get extra time for other leisure activities
  1. Gets All You Work Done Efficiently – Too much work might sound heavy but when this work is broken down into specific and smaller tasks in a to do list, work gets done efficiently. You just focus on the first task concisely then move to the next one and so on. And by the time you reach to the final task, you would’ve completed more than 90% of your ‘too much work’
  1. You Stay One Step Ahead – If you plan everything in advance for the month or week with the help of to do list, you have it all planned before deadlines. Thus, eventually, you get the work done on or before time. So, even if some unexpected works hits suddenly, you can easily manage it since you have no previous work piled up.

How To Get Started?

If you are a beginner in the facet of to do list, this section is especially for you. And now that you know the significant benefits of to do list, I’m sure you would want to make one as soon as possible. So fundamentally, to do list is nothing but a list of your chores of the day, week or month. You basically break down the work of your entire day into specific tasks and complete them on by one. Have a look at the 4 steps of to do list:

Steps:

# Pick Your Surface

So surface here means the material on which you are going to note down your tasks. It could be a page, a diary, a whiteboard or even a sticky note. I suggest keeping a diary or a notebook for writing down your to do lists would be more beneficial.

# Think And List It All

Now, calm down and think about all the work you have to get done today. Think about all the deadlines and submissions that are coming up. Also, think of the unfinished work which you weren’t able to do in the past. So, basically you have go in the past and the future and put all of it in the present. Now list all of those tasks first.

# Prioritize Tasks

Now that you have list of tasks right in front of your eyes, set priorities for the tasks. The priorities could be based on the urgency, deadlines, difficulty level, resource availability, task length, etc. After setting priorities, divide the tasks into specific weeks (for a ‘monthly to do list’) or days (for a ‘weekly to do list’) or into time slots (for a ‘daily to do list’).

# Highlight/ Cut-Off Completed Tasks

This is a fun step. After completing each task, cut it off from your to do list. So that you are aware of how many tasks are done and how many are remaining. Some people prefer highlighting the completed tasks with a colorful highlighter, some like putting a tick, and some just like striking it off. 

To Do List Templates

To give you an idea of varied types of to do lists, I’ve got some templates for you. They would give you an idea of the structures of to do list. So depending on your interest and creativity you could select one of them or may be build your own type.

Some of them are quite simple and straightforward while some have a lot of miscellaneous stuff entailed. 

I hope you might have got a fair idea of the templates. I picked them up from Pinterest so if you wish to get more ideas, you could hunt them down at Pinterest too.

Tips For Creating A Better To Do List

  1. Keep the to do list ready in advance –  It is a good habit to fabricate your to do list in advance, at least a night before the next day. This will instill an idea of how much work you have in your basket tomorrow. So become mentally prepared. 
  1. Complete as early as possible – Usually what happens with most of the people is that they do create the to do list enthusiastically but don’t work that enthusiastically to complete the tasks. The more you delay, the tougher it gets for you to complete the to do list. Thus, get done with the tasks as early as possible. Plus, you get extra free time once you get done with all the tasks for the day.
  1. Do not include too much – In the beginning, with all the excitement and energy, you may put in a huge number of tasks to be completed all in a single day. Eventually, you may not even be able to do half of them. Thus, do not add too much else instead of having satisfaction of getting the work completed, you may have stress of not having it done. 
  1. Consider everything before settings tasks – You are not a robot right? You eat, sleep, take bath, go out, watch TV, etc. So you need to consider all of these activities and the time that gets consumed by them while making your to do list.
  1. Keep all the to do lists in one place – It is good to have a track of all the to do lists in one place like a single diary or a separate notebook. This will help you keep track of your progress and consistency of following the to do list. Also, if you have some unfinished task on the previous lists, you could add them in the present list. 
  1. Set phone reminders to help you – If your cell phone is always by your side then utilize it to set reminders for your tasks on your to do list. You could use alarms too. Also, you could keep a picture of your to do list in your cell phone so that you could refer to it anytime, anywhere.
  1. Do not make it shabby – Overwriting or striking off too often or using gaudy coloured pens would not even make you look at the to do list, forget about completing the tasks it entails. Thus, keep the to do list neat and clean. Also, do not write paragraphs or long sentences in the list; only include bullet points with shorts phrases. 
  1. Make it attractive – Many people adore using different colour highlighters and sketch pens to make their to do list look interesting and attractive. If the to do list grabs your attention, then it may consequently attract you do the tasks in it. Also, you get so many notepads and diaries that are made only for writing the to do lists.
  1. Forward the unfinished tasks – First of all do not keep any task pending from your to do list but unfortunately if you did so, then make sure you include it in your immediate next day to do list. 

The To Do List App Recommendations

If you are a tech freak or are always stuck to your cell phone, the to do apps might be your suitable budy instead of pen and paper to do list. Also, these app have go numerous additional advanced features such as dropping tasks and rearranging them, makes changes to the priority and due dates with one click, attaching customized notes to tasks with additional thoughts. 

So here’s a list of fabled and highly efficient to do list apps list:

  1. Todoist
  2. Asana
  3. TickTick
  4. nTask
  5. Microsoft To-Do
  6. ToodleDo
  7. Google Keep
  8. OmniFocus
  9. Checklist
  10. Remember the Milk
  11. Any.DO
  12. Antnotes
  13. Things 3
  14. Evernote
  15. WeDo

So now all you need to is try them all and select the one which suits your interests and needs. Some people even prefer using both apps and manual diary to do lists combination. If you wish you could try that too. But whatever method you choose, the only main aim is to be productive because you see, time and tide waits for no one right? You need to be prepared in advance and get all your tasks done on time.

I guess the only advice left to give is that mate, do not procrastinate when it comes clearing up the tasks on your to do list. If you do it once, it is highly possible that you may do it again and one day it may become your habit. You seriously don’t wish for it right?