I’ve been making to-do lists for as long as I can remember. Work stuff, personal stuff, blog stuff…you name it…I’ve made a to-do list about it. But I understand that not everyone does this and it may not come as easily to others. So I’m going to give you some of my list-making secrets.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your list and ignore it. But the benefits of a to-do list are vast. If you make a well-constructed list it will work to your advantage. Here’s how to make the ultimate to-do list and stick to it.
- Just Write it Down: It’s easy to forget things that you don’t have right in front of you. So write down any task you need to do as soon as you think about it. It doesn’t matter if the list is in any particular order right now – just write it down.
- Organize Your List: Once you know all the things you have to do -- organize this list. Break it up into categories: work, home, kids, play, etc. Each area of your life should have it’s own list. Don’t mix -- it will just overwhelm you and then you will ignore your list.
- Prioritize: Once you have your separate lists – go over each item and order them by deadline or importance. This will help you stay on track and only focus on what needs to be done right now. Sure there may be other tasks that are easier to do but might not be as important. Reject your temptation to jump into those tasks first just because they are easy – it will just put you behind schedule.
- Re-Write: Now that you’ve organized your list by category and decided what’s most important – rewrite your list. By making a clean list that is easy to read you will be more likely to refer to it and check things off in order.
- Repeat: In order to get things accomplished – make as many lists as you need to make. I make a list everyday and then add to it. Sure it’s like a little cheat sheet – but it will make you more efficient.
Paula Rizzo is the Senior Health Producer for FoxNews.com and founder of ListProducer.com. She's an Emmy Award winner and attributes much of her success to her compulsive list making. She makes lists for everything and started ListProducer.com to help others become more organized, focused and efficient, while being less stressed.