How to Make an Effective and Efficient To-Do List

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Step One: Think ahead to your upcoming day, week, or event, whatever is happening you need to organize your tasks for. Brainstorm in no particular order on a scrap piece of paper what you need to accomplish. To make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, be sure to talk with a friend, family member, or coworker, who can review your initial list and add any additional tasks.

Step Two: Next to each item you’ve brainstormed, make a note gauging its priority level. There should be three priority levels: high, medium, and low.  Priority level should be predominantly based on when the task is due, as in tasks that are due very soon are high priority, while tasks due in a few weeks are low priority.  

Step Three: Consider how long it will take you to accomplish each task and the smaller tasks that may be included in achieving it. Write these next to the items to make organizing them easier.

Step Four: Organize your list in order of priority, putting the highest priority items first, followed by second priority and then third priority. Look ahead at your pre-existing schedule for the day, week, or event you are planning for and start to plug in your items around these using their time to complete as a guide.

Step Five: Write your final list on a fresh piece of paper, and ta-da! You have a perfectly crafted, effective and efficient to-do list that will help you get your work done on time. Now get to crossing those items off!

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