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Even Smart People Make Mistakes While Creating To-Do Lists, Here’s 5 Steps To Do One Effectively

Most of us waste time at our offices, chasing after to-do lists, and it often happens that we have 15 different tasks lined up to do. However, those tasks can easily get tangled up with each other. Before we realize it, we’ve already become so exhausted that some of them remain on sticky notes instead of being accomplished.

While thinking about productivity, the main theme is that people stress too much about their goals that it stops them from focusing on each task and accomplishing them one at a time. So what can be done? Well, we’ve got a few steps on how you can recalibrate your focus. Check it out and see if it works for you!

1. Archive anything that catches your attention.

Write down any “could,” “should,” “need-to,” and “might-need-to” that can burden your conscience, but you haven’t yet archived. There may be messages, heaps of paper, documents, notes from gatherings, stickies, and updates lying around and are being held back to be dealt with once you “can get around to it.” Although you don’t have to address any of them at present, essentially, you have to compile them and put them in a trusted place.

2. Ask yourself these questions

Now, get the first item, and ask yourself if it’s actionable. If it is, then you can either do it now (if it can be accomplished in two minutes or less), entrust it to someone else, or create a note to do it yourself later. But if it isn’t, you can either bin it, store it for reference, or place it in your “someday/maybe” list.

A clean, clutter-free workspace helps keep you from distractions.

3. Arrange in a customized order

Then, store and arrange all the things you will need to do sooner or later, but not right now. You can do this by allotting each item to either:

  • A list of one-off actions: Items that need one step to accomplish (e.g., purchase soap)
  • A list of project actions: Items with more than one step (e.g., documentary)
  • A calendar: Items with a particular time, date, and location (e.g., Lea’s party at 7:00 p.m.)

4. Reflect

Reflecting over your lists should be part of your weekly schedule for you to know what to do next. Just ask yourself where you are making progress and where you need to adjust your priorities. Also, contemplate on what system is working for you and how you can improve it.

5. Engage

Before you do something from your list, determine first where you are and what you can do from that place. Also, consider how much time you have left before you’ll need to jump into the next thing you’ll need to do, as well as how much energy you still have left to do it. Once you know all these, then you’ll know what item to prioritize and act on.

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