To Do Lists

Do you keep a To Do List? I asked my followers on Instagram and some said there was a pretty good split.

  • The people that said they don’t said they don’t because of laziness, because they would just prefer to keep a mental list and some even said they have the same boring routine so don’t need to keep a To Do List.
  • The people that said they do loved how a To Do List helped them define their priorities, put their priorities in order, prevented them from forgetting something important and even said a list increased their focus.

I love a To Do List because of everything above and more. A To Do List can help you stay focused, keep you organized, help you see progress when you don’t think you’ve made any, take things out of your head and allow you to think more clearly and even remove the pressure of having to remember everything.

There are two types of lists that you can make – a running list and a daily list. A running list is great for projects that take a long time or have a significant number of steps. This type of list works for things like a kitchen remodel, a research project for your graduate program or even a new product or service you’re getting ready to launch. A daily list is better for more of the day-to-day stuff. Things like house work, small personal development projects like courses you’re taking or errands you need to run. This type of list is perfect for keeping you on track and giving you a sense of accomplishment each day. And I love ❤️ how 50% of my followers keep a daily To Do List.

Which list is right for you? My honest answer – BOTH! I say this because each type of list is good for different tasks and different stages in life. Keeping both types of list allows you to keep your projects separate and organized and helps you be more efficient in getting things done.

Making a To Do List is not only good for your stress levels, but it can also provide you with more order and structure to your days. A To Do List will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you look back on your day and see tasks checked off. The best part about making and using a To Do List is that it give you peace of mind. Knowing that the things you have to do are out of your head, on paper and you can think more clearly is an awesome feeling.

Now…for the moment you’ve been waiting for. 😃 Here are my top tips for making an effective To Do List that will seriously work for you.

  1. Use both a running list and a daily list. – Use both because they serve different purposes and you can use them simultaneously or at different seasons in your life. Keep a running list for all the projects you have around your house and have your daily to do lists for the things you have to do everyday.
  2. Use categories to organize your list. – When you separate your lists into different categories, you can bulk tasks together. A few categories you could use are Home (for stuff needed around the house), Work (for all your work tasks) and Personal Life (for things you need to do for YOU).
  3. Add timing to your tasks. – Yes, give your tasks a due date and time, but also chunk like-tasks together. Your morning routine might include your workout, packing lunches for you and the kids and making sure you leave the house on time. Your afternoon routine might include the errands you have to run. When you write out your list, put these tasks together so you can cross off a bunch all at once.
  4. Keep sticky notes around your house. – Sometimes something springs to your mind that you need to do, but you’re not in a position to write it down. You might be washing dishes and have wet hands or be right in the middle of making dinner. Keeping sticky notes in the main areas of your home will allow you to jot things down so the thought is out of your head and on paper. And you won’t forget it either.
  5. Write things down and check them off even after you’ve completed them. – Doing this might sound silly, but I promise you, it’s not. When you write something down and cross it off it shows that you’ve accomplished something. Some days we might think we’ve gotten nothing done but in reality, we have accomplished a lot. At the end of the night, do a brain dump and write out all the things you’ve done.
  6. Delegate the tasks that YOU don’t have to do. – This one might be tough, but I bet there’s something you do that you don’t really have to be the one that does it. Think about household chores like cleaning or laundry. If you can, hire someone to take that off your list and give you some time back in your day. What about school pick up or drop off? Organize a neighborhood schedule so you and your neighbors can alternate days of the week to do this. Any delegation gives you time back in your day and that can be hugely helpful.
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