To-do lists will literally save your life. Aha. I know right, I make bold statements sometimes, lol but that’s because this is the truth. Lists generally are awesome. If you have always looked for ways to get your life organized, productive, and on track, writing lists, all sorts of them is the way to go. Maybe this article on the different kinds of lists you can write might interest you.
To-do lists are one of the best kind of lists to come up with if you are going to get your life in order. Without to-do lists, you have a bird’s eye view of what you expect from yourself that day. If you ask me, no one should begin their day without a to-do list. It doesn’t matter how lazy the day is going to be, draft one.
There are however mistakes people make when drafting this list. They seem to misunderstand the purpose and essence of having a to-do list in the first place. So, they realize that their to-do lists are putting them under pressure, not working for them or just becoming unnecessary.
Here are 5 of the mistakes you are making when drafting your to-do list
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1. Being unrealistic
To-do lists are supposed to be guides and reminders. They should not have on them impossible tasks and unrealistic goals. If your to-do list has on it tasks that you are convinced you will never do, or do not make any sense, you are making a mistake.
Your to-do list is not goals, it is a plan. A plan of what you want to accomplish this day. This will keep you focused! You will probably never include a mindless chatter in your day if you see how much free time you don’t have.
2. Writing your list too late
Ideally, it is better to write your to-do list the day before, preferably when you are retiring to bed. Speaking of retiring to bed, you should check out this article on what you should do every night before you go to bed. So, really, if you can, if you are not too tired, writing your to-do list for the next day should be a part of your night routines.
If it, however, happens that you can’t make it work this way, you should craft this as early as possible in the morning. Writing my to-do list shortly after I wake up at 5 AM usually goes a long way. That way, the day is still young, I will not miss a 9 AM meeting if that is supposed to be a part of my day and I have a better perspective of the new day.
If you are not able to write your to-do list as early as you know you should, you should be prepared to bear the consequences of missed tasks and an unplanned day.
3. Using the same to-do list the next day
Oh well, you just murdered the purpose of to-do lists if you do this. To-do lists are supposed to be for a day at a time. If you don’t finish all you are supposed to do for a day, don’t stay stuck in that day, move on and create another entirely new to-do list for the day.
You might as well include pending tasks from the previous day on the new list and that would be perfect. Just make sure that a new day goes with a new to-do list.
4. Being too rigid
Your to-do list is a list, it is not supposed to be Lord over you and your day. Some unexpected events might occur during the day, some tasks may prolong than necessary (this should not happen every time), some of the items of the list may end up not working out as you have planned. In fact, you may even realize that you do not need to do some of the things you have on your list anymore.
Imagine that a friend canceled on your plans or an issue just sorts itself out, I mean…You should be flexible enough to accommodate the changes that will occur during the day.
5. Treating all the tasks the same way
Please prioritize. Not all tasks are going to be the same if you are going to be honest with yourself. Some tasks will take longer to accomplish. You might use colours on a marker to indicate what should be sorted out right away.
You can also mentally attach importance to the most important or most stressful portion of your plan. If you treat all the items equally, you will be missing the mark. Maybe it will end in frustration, which is not what we want yea?
If you are making any of these to-do list mistakes, you know that they are things you can correct right away; now;, as we speak. So begin to adjust into a more realistic and productive to-do list.
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