Life is stressful and it is very easy to make it more stressful with forgetting deadlines or tasks that should be done, it is a good idea to make to-do lists to prevent that from happening. Here are ten tips that have made my life a lot easier and less stressed.
1. The book
One of the most important part about the list is what the list is on and where it is. The list is of no use if it is never with you or lost. Having the list in a small book and keeping in on you all time (in your schoolbag, handbag or laptop bag) is a good habit that you should start embracing. When starting the book the first page can be the year goals, after that can be the first month with the month goals, and then the first week with the week goals and then seven days of to-do lists. After that a new week comes and again then the seven days until a new month begins where you will start a new month. To make the book not to complicated you should write at the top of ever page the date.
2. Write down (almost) everything
When life is stressful we tend to forget stuff, important stuff. Depending on what you are forgetting you could write down things like “Brush teeth after lunch” or “Take the trash out”. Remember it is YOUR list and no one can really tell you what to write on it. If you have a hard time falling asleep because of stress is good idea to write down the to-do list in the evening before, that way it is all written down and you will not be spending the night thinking you will forget something in the morning.
3. Set time goals for every task
Since there are only 24 hours in a day, and eight of them are best used for sleep, setting time goals for every task can make you see how much you can actually accomplish in one day. If on one of the day you managed to be really hardworking and finished all the things on the list you could either reward yourself with some “doing nothing” time or do some tasks that are on the day after to do list and therefore making next day a little bit easier.
4. Organize the list
One way to organize the list is to write down the things that happen at the same place so it would be possible to do them right after one another. Things like buying things could all be made into one group that you can do while downtown or at the mall, or all the things that should be done in the school in one place etc.
5. Rank the list
Not all things are equally necessary to do right now, rank your list from A to F. A being the most important and F can wait for a while. Then start doing A, then B etc until you have finished the list of the time you have. That way you will have time to do all the important tasks and do not forget yourself in some task that can wait.
6. Write down the fun things too
Having just strenuous things on the to-do list makes it really boring and stale. To make the list not as depressing you could write down things that you like doing; it is healthy to do something you enjoy every day so why not write that down as well.
7. Make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists
If you are beginning to plan everything the best thing to do is to see what you would like to accomplish in one year and write that down. Then write down the monthly goals, then the weekly goals and daily goals. For example: Year goal: lose 48 pounds, month goal: lose four pounds, weekly goal: lose one pound, daily goal: exercise 30 minutes. That way it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Your yearly goals can change as well and then you just have to adjust your list towards the changes that you have made.
8. Make subgroups
Let’s say that on your list it says grocery shopping, do not just stop there. Write down with that list what you should buy. For example
Groceries- milk, bread, chocolate, apples.
Homework- math: do exercise 5-10, history: read chapter 6, chemistry: do exercise seven and 9.
That way you will have better oversight over what you have to do.
9. Do not make it an “all or nothing” list.
Even if you do not manage to do everything on the to-do list it doesn’t mean it is the end of the world as you know it. You can move things to the next day or the next week.
10. Make it your own
Do not make the lists like your mother does the list or your teacher or whomever is making such list as well, find what you think works for you and use your own skills to make the to-do list the best as you can, the same thing does not work for everybody so you should try different things until you find the one that suits you and your lifestyle the best. It is possible that after couple of months or years or even just weeks that how you are making the list does not work for you but that is not a problem at all, then you should just change the style of your list, the list is supposed to bend towards your needs not you towards the list needs.