Top Tips for Your To Do List!

Our Top Ten To Do list tips!

1. Make time for your To Do list

The best time to take stock of all of your tasks is before you begin to tackle them. Make a habit of creating or checking your to do list first thing each morning. This will set you up for a focused, motivated day.
You might find it also helps to write down your tasks for the following day at the end of your working day. This will help you to leave work feeling in control and gives you permission to forget those tasks until you’re back at work again.
 
2. Decide on one single, consistent system
 
Choose just one, single, easy-to-use system and stick to it, whether it’s paper, or electronic. Maybe it’s a special notebook that always stays on your desk, a list in the notes section of your mobile phone, or a spreadsheet with various tabs saved to your computer desktop. Whatever it is, use it as the one and only place to record everything you need to do. This way you’ll always know where to find your list, and you won’t become confused by conflicting lists of tasks.
 
 3. Separate work and personal tasks

Keep those things you want to do in your own time on a separate list from the list of things you want to achieve inside of work hours. If non-work tasks pop into your head while you are working, write them down on your separate list, giving yourself permission to forget about them until later. Keeping the two areas separate will help you to keep focused during work hours.

4. Break tasks down
 
 That big project you have been given may seem like a very daunting task that is going to take ages. Start by listing out the different steps that you will need to take to reach the end product. This will help to make your thoughts more clear and give you much more achievable short-term goals.
 
 5. Be specific 
 
 Write your tasks in a way to make them specific. Each task should be:
 — things that can be finished in one sitting
 — physical actions
 — things that only you can do (rather than big projects involving lots of people)

If they don’t meet these criteria, you probably need to break them down more, or make them more specific.
 
 6. Be realistic about what you can achieve 
 
 if you’re making a to do list just for the day, or the week, don’t set yourself up to fail. Give yourself an achievable number of goals for the time frame. Focus on the things that matter, and keep in mind not to set yourself too many of those tasks that you know take a lot of your energy, or that take you a long time.
 
 7. Prioritise!
 
 Once you have made your list of the tasks, decide what is most important, or is going to take a lot of your energy, and do that first….. Eat that frog! 
 
 8. Check your list regularly 
 
 Keep stock of you are getting on with meeting your goals, and consider whether priorities have changed, or new information has changed the nature of a task.

9. Focus on…One. Thing. At. A. Time. 
 
 Humans are not built for multi-tasking, and if you are someone whose short term memory can struggle, you’ll be putting extra pressure on it by trying to focus your attention on more than one thing at once. Be efficient with your energy and your time, and pay attention to just one of your tasks at a time.

10. Tick things off! 
 
 Remember to tick or cross off your tasks as you complete them. It’s your pat on the back for achieving something. Relish your success and keep your motivation up!

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Aidan Healy