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How To Make A To-Do List That You’ll Actually Use.

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To-do lists can be great, but not if they’re actually useful for you. And if they haven’t been useful for you, it’s probably because you’re not making your to-do lists the right way. Check out these tips to help you create a to-do list that you’ll actually use!

By Sammy Nickalls 


 

Do you make to-do lists?

 

Be honest: how often do you actually use them after you scribble them down?

 

To-do lists can be great, but not if they’re actually useful for you. And if they haven’t been useful for you, it’s probably because you’re not making your to-do lists the right way.

 

Check out these ways to make a to-do list that you’ll actually use.

 

1.     Do: Be specific

There’s a difference between a to-do list and a list of goals. For example, don’t write down something huge, like ‘Clean the house’. That’s a goal, because to clean the entire house is a lot of work – and completely pointless to put on a task list.

 

Think about how much more doable it would be if you broke it up into little tasks, like ‘mop the kitchen floor,’ or ‘organise the upstairs closet’. Make bite-sized tasks that are totally doable, and you’ll be on your way to reaching that big goal.

 

2.     Don’t: Overstuff

That being said, don’t make a ridiculously long list! That’s just overwhelming. You won’t be able to get a hundred tasks done in a day.

Every time you write down a task, consider: is this something that absolutely has to happen today? Is this something that will help me grow, whether that’s in the area of happiness, wellbeing or success?

 

3.     Do: Follow through

Ever hear of the Zeigarnik effect? It’s that terrible feeling you have when you are procrastinating something that you really need to get done. We’ve all felt it.

It was previously thought that this feeling exists to make you get done what you need to get done, but one study found that just making a plan can relieve the Zeigarnik effect.

 

Follow through with your to-do list. Resolve to yourself that you will get it done by the end of the day – or will at least try your hardest!

 

4.     Don’t: Give yourself too much time

Planning ahead is definitely good, but too much may be detrimental. According to one study, those who were given more time to work accomplished less than those who were given less time. A little pressure can help!

 

5.     Do: Learn from your lists

So you make a to-do list, and you only get some of it done. Don’t just throw it out. Analyse it. Why didn’t you get all of it done? Were there certain tasks you dreaded? When did you get most of the tasks done – and is that time your most productive time of the day?

 

Learn from your lists so you can learn more about how to personally thrive and be as productive as possible.

 

 

Useful Links and references

Sammy Nickalls is a writer and the content manager of Inspiyr.com, an online magazine helping people get healthier, happier, and more successful. You can sign up for her newsletter and get a free eBook on productivity hacks. She is also an avid health nut, as well as a lover of yoga, gaming, books, and tea!

 

How To Make A To-Do List That You’ll Actually Use.
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