Now of course I wish to do lists contained only important items like “pet puppies” and “eat ice cream,” but alas they do not. But in order to get to those two happiness boosting activities, we have to get all of the “meh” things out of the way. Here’s how to make a to do list like a boss so you can get on to the things you rather be doing.
Keep it realistic. Your to do list needs to be realistic above everything else. You know how much time you have in the day to actually complete things on the list. Keeping your list realistic makes you feel more accomplished when you check things off rather than disheartened when you barely make a dent.
Limit the list to three top priorities and around six other items. This helps with keeping the list realistic. Have three things that HAVE to get done that day, and around six other action items that you’d like to complete as well. That way you aren’t trying to eat the whole elephant so to speak and are taking it one bite at a time.
Don’t micromanage yourself. Putting every step in the process may seem like a good idea, but you don’t want to micromanage yourself. You know everything that goes into say, writing a blog post. You don’t need to list each step along the way (take the photo, write the post, publish, share on social, etc), but can say “Blog Post” on the list instead. It’ll keep your list visually manageable despite there actually being a few smaller steps for each item.
Take steps towards your bigger goals. If you have quarterly goals or bigger things you want to accomplish, try and put one thing on your list every day or every other day to help you work towards those goals. That way you’re getting closer to the finish line without feeling rushed or overwhelmed at the scale of the project.
Cross things out. It feels oh so good to take a big line through a to do list item. That’s while I’ll never switch to digital to do lists. It’s too dang satisfying to cross things off.
Transfer unfinished items from one day to the next. If you don’t have as productive a day as you thought you would, don’t sweat it. Transfer unfinished to do list items to the next day’s list. That way you don’t forget something that still needs to get done. Be kind to yourself. You aren’t going to finish every single to do list every single day.
Of course if it helps you stay productive, add fun colors, stickers, and anything else to keep that list top of mind.