TOP-7 Most Important “Pros” to Create the Effective To-Do Lists

Each person, regardless of country, gender, social and material status, has one variable that does not change: we have only 24 hours per day. During this time, we need time to sleep, meet with family, friends, relax and work productively. But despite the fact that everyone has the same amount of time, some people manage to do everything they planned while others can hardly cope with one or two tasks a day. You definitely had this strange feeling when you looked at a friend and could not understand how they manage to do so many things during the day? What's the secret? Our team conducted a research and found out 7 basic rules to create highly efficient to-do lists, which we are ready to share. 

1. Time Matters

man working on the laptop with time limitation

You can write to-do lists every day, think through each item, prioritize tasks, and so on. But there is one thing that can reduce the effectiveness of this activity to almost zero — the wrong time for writing. We highly recommend you to fill the to-do list the night before the day, week or month start. Why? Everything is simple. Firstly, you will save morning time, secondly, when you wake up, you will already know exactly how many things you need to do today. Thirdly, you must admit that in the evening it is much more pleasant to make plans for a day with a cup of tea than in a hurry in the morning, knowing how much has to be done in a day.

2. Size Matters

Some people just like to create long lists with dozens of deals they are planning to do. It is not a good approach. Try to soberly assess your strengths and not try to jump ahead of yourself. As Forbes recommends, you should write to-do lists with no more than 3 items in them. Why? Because it is about your ability to prioritize and focus on the most important things. Some successful people just write ONE single item. This approach is especially good for your business tasks. Just think, if you have had the opportunity to choose only one thing for your business development per day, what would it be? Write the answer on the paper. 

3. Priority Matters

man working on calendar

Many people do not find the order of items on the list important: they write and complete them as they wish. But, in fact,the order of execution and writing tasks can significantly increase the effectiveness of any to-do list. For example, we all know that morning time is the most productive and effective. It is in the morning that the scientists recommend performing the most complex and long tasks. After all, our energy and strength are taken away not only by the process of completing the task but also by the understanding of the fact that we still have to do it.

4. Tools Matter

Once upon a time, someone from our team said: “Do not regret investing time in choosing tools. This is important. And over time, it will play a key role.” Therefore, now, I advise you: “Take time to create the most efficient to-do lists writing process possible”. The most well-known way is to write on the paper. If you choose this approach, then:

  • Buy a small notebook (so you can put it in the small bag);
  • Buy a beautiful notebook (it really matters as you will see it every day);
  • Buy a notebook with a bookmark. 

Another way is to download and install the mobile application. There are thousands of different apps for different platforms. Some of them are free and some of them are paid, some only offer a free trial,  others combine different types of subscriptions, and so on. We recommend you to try several applications and only then decide what to use. 

5. Content Matters

In one of the previous sections, we recommended you to write short to-do lists with only several items. And here we want to dwell on how to write. Remember one rule: “Write a list not for yourself, write it for LAZY yourself!”. For example, your list may look like this:

  • Nails;
  • Courses;
  • Home. 

Simple? - Yes! Short? - Yes! So, what’s wrong with it? It is too short and simple! Suppose, today you understand what means “Nails, Courses, and Home”. But tomorrow, you can forget what exactly you need to do in the “Home” option. So, it is much better if you add some refinements:

  • Call Jane and move recording 2 days in advance;
  • Find TOP marketing courses;
  • Drop off all suits for dry cleaning. 

Much better, isn’t it? 

6. Quantity Matters

girl with her to-do list

Most likely, when you read that your to-do list should only include a few items, you asked yourself: "How do I put all my life tasks in just one point?" After all, there are working things with their unique priorities, household deals with theirs, and how about the personal ones? All of them relate to completely different people and areas of your life. And we agree with you. Scientists recommend compiling not one to-do sheet, but several. For example, there can be four of them: for work, for home, for personal time, and for training. If such names do not suit you, you can think of any others. The main thing is to make you as comfortable as possible. However, we do not recommend starting a new notebook for each of the “to-do projects”. Otherwise, you will have 4 or5 of them, and you will simply stop writing. It is better if everything is in one notebook, but the one with bookmarks.

7. Dates Matter

Whatever you do, it is important to have deadlines. The writing of to-do’s is not an exception. Of course, if we talk about the daily list, then the deadline is obvious, but if we talk about the annual list, the situation changes. As a rule, such a list will have a couple of dozen points, so it is important to write an estimated deadline opposite each. Not necessarily a clear date; the name of the month will be enough. By the way, this will help you when planning for a month or a week.

What Is Your “Matters”?

Now we want to ask you to write the most important “matters”. What do you think is the crucial thing to complete an effective to-do list? Do you agree with our TOP-7? Write in the comments below.

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