15 Ways to Master the To-Do List

Don’t let your daily to-do list take over your whole life. Here are 15 simple ways to manage your tasks.

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To do or not to do—that used to be the question. Now, the question is How can we make our daily to do list most effective? AsWinston Churchill once said: “Let your advance worrying become advanced thinking and planning.” While it’s true that we have taken his advice to heart over the years by trying to reduce our anxiety about the many concurrently unfolding events in our busy schedules, it’s also true that we can do better!

Thanks to our dedication and focus on mastering our own daily to-do list, we’ve come up with 15 ways for you to do the same. Now, we’re not saying you should let the list rule your life. Our message is to use a little finesse and organization to keep your daily to-do list from overwhelming everything else that matters. After all, keeping that list well-managed and under control will give you the freedom to enjoy the unplanned and the unexpected—which we all know is really the most awesome part of life.

1. Make Deadlines

Person organizing tasks

The best to-do lists always include deadlines, as they provide you with structure and help prevent procrastination. Also, you get to plan something fun when you meet an exceptionally challenging deadline, right?

2. Apps

If your sticky notes keep getting lost, it might be time to create an electronic to-do list with a task management app like Todoist.

3. Prioritize

Person doing homework on computer

Even if it’s not a fun one, make sure the most important, time sensitive task gets tackled first. If it helps, number your list or use highlighters to make the urgent tasks really pop on the page.

4. Time Management

Stick to your schedule and meet your deadlines. No exceptions. Train yourself to allot designated amounts of time to each task, with the understanding that the daily to-do list is really just a blueprint for the action you intend to execute.

5. Add it to Your Calendar

A pen along with other artifacts to do work tasks

Put to-do items on your calendar at home or at work, wherever you’re sure to see them alongside all of your other obligations. Then, if you’re using an electronic calendar or have a alarm on your phone for such things, set up alerts so you’re on top of it all.

6. Disconnect to Connect

When you need to concentrate and really focus on a task, turn off your phone and don’t you dare log in to check email or your social media accounts.

7. Update As You Go


The best to-do lists are always evolving as you complete tasks, add new ones and reorganize what’s on your plate. You should feel free to add on, re-categorize and re-prioritize often. Think of your to-do list as a living, working document.

8. Carry a Notebook

If you keep a written list with you, you can easily jot down new tasks that come up while crossing completed items off on the fly.

9. Categorize


Divide your tasks into categories. You can use color-coding or some other labeling system to separate your tasks into categories like Work, Personal, Urgent, etc.

10. Be Realistic

Try to not be overly optimistic about how long each task will take as you’re planning and setting deadlines.

11. Reward Yourself


Give yourself a break (or a treat) for every few tasks that you complete on time.

12. Don’t Procrastinate

If you get too overwhelmed by your to-do list, you’ll spend more time worrying about it than actually completing the tasks on it. Focus on one thing at a time to keep yourself moving forward.

13. Schedule Down Time


Make sure to include a break on your list so that you have a chance to recharge during the day.

14. Plan for Interruptions & Delays

Don’t schedule your life so fully that if you get stuck in traffic on your way back to the office from a meeting, you not only miss the rest of your scheduled obligations but you also have an anxiety attack.

15. Be Willing to Change


If you come up with a to-do list system and it isn’t working for you, try to figure out why and don’t be afraid to experiment with something new.

The post 15 ways to improve your to-do list appeared first on Hispanic World.

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