Daily Dose of Design: 7 Tips to Make a Successful To-Do List

Monday, April 10, 2017

7 Tips to Make a Successful To-Do List


One of the most stressful things is to have an overwhelming to-do list that's longer than you have enough hours in a day for! I know the satisfaction of getting things done and crossing things off of your list is gratifying but it's also stressful and let's be real, being stressed causes Netflix binges and results in not a thing getting crossed off your list. Being able to get things done and manage your time is a true gift, and if you can do it without a to-do list I need to take a lesson from ya! ;) Here's some simple ways I've been making my daily lists more manageable:

1. Get the most important things done first. So you don't have to stress as the day goes on, and if you find yourself losing motivation as the day goes on, you can semi-relax knowing that the must-dos got done! I always try to get these things done early too so I can focus on everything else I have written down.

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2. Take breaks. The only way you aren't going to totally burn out each day is if you give yourself some you-time! I always take breaks during the work day and it only helps me to refocus my brain. I break for lunch, quick 5 minute breaks between tasks, breaks to run errands and sometimes I'll even break to watch a TV show during the day (hello, my name is Adriana and I'm addicted to General Hospital ;). Moral of the story is giving yourself a few minutes to chill is super beneficial!

3. Start your day slow and steadily, if possible. I know it isn't always practical/possible, and I do think it's important to get the most involved and most important things done early - but before all of that, even crossing off the simplest of things on your to-do list make you feel SO dang good! I always feel really productive when I'm able to get things done when I first wake up.

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4. Make a practical sized list. I'm totally guilty of making my daily to-do list WAY too long and unreasonable, but as of late I've been more productive each day when I don't make unreasonable daily goals. There's lots of things to get done, yes, but overwhelming yourself only makes it worse. I also make more than one list (I'm a crazy list maker, to say the least!) so that I don't feel bombarded by a piece of paper, for real LOL.

5. Time your tasks. I started timing myself more recently on things I have to get done and my GOD does it help!! When I make my list each day I put an estimated time of how long each thing will take. That way I know how much time I need to allot to each task, and how many things I can realistically get done each day. This is where daily planners come in handy! You can schedule things out by hour and it's helped me so much this year thus far.

6. Make time to make your schedule. To-do lists only work if you have a cohesive to-do list to do from! Get it? ;) I always find time throughout the day to schedule the following day out; and I always have a running list on my phone so when I'm on the go I can write things down as I think of them and not risk forgetting. Once I get in bed at night, I usually put together a cohesive list to run by the next day.

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7. Start each day with a fresh, new list. I always work with a new, fresh list each day. Even if everything didn't get done the day before, I start fresh so I know what's what and what really needs to get done first, AKA anything I didn't cross off the day before.

What do you do to ensure that your to-do list gets tackled each day?

XOXO -A

44 comments:

  1. I really need to remember to time my tasks. That really does change everything!

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  2. Love the timing idea! I seriously need to buy a planner! I currently use the wunderlist app so I can't lose my to do list!

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  3. These are all great ways to have a functioning to-do list. I do need to start timing tasks.

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  4. I think timing your tasks can really help. I sometimes get sucked in by social media and soon my task of writing up new post, well lost me an hour. Setting a timer is a great idea.

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  5. Wow, these are practical and doable. Thanks!

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  6. Breaks are NEEDED! So many don't realize that. I truly think breaks can make everything that much better!

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  7. I live for my to-do lists. So important to take breaks! Great post.

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  8. This is so great! Also guilty of making my lists WAYY too long and not taking breaks!

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  9. I'm such a list person, so love this post! To-do lists are such a way to organize everything and get stuff done!

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  10. Very smart points! I think timing is crucial. Many people leave it out! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  11. I love making a master list on Sunday for the next week!

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  12. This is a great post, I love making to-do lists, and I find I always get more done when I have them!

    Krystin
    www.girlinbetsey.com

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  13. These are great tips! I love your idea of tackling the most important things first, because I usually always end up scrambling at the end of the day.

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  14. These are all great tips. The best thing I ever did was to set time limits for my tasks. It keeps me so much more focused!

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  15. Really great tips! I have a bad habit of making epic lists then feeling exhausted just looking at it. I always end up doing the easy things first and waste my day on stuff that doesn't have to be done. I need to implement these tips as I try to get myself together in the new year.

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  16. Another tip is to balance the to-do lists. If every day turns into a to-do list, where's the fun? Unless that's on the to-do list too. ;)

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  17. I love the idea of timing out tasks. I'm sure I spend far too long on things that I shouldn't!

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  18. I start each day with a fresh list of tasks and even rewrite things I wasn't able to get done the day before!

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  19. Starting each day with a fresh new, smear free list is a MUST!

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  20. Making a practical sized list is where I struggle. I feel like mine keeps getting longer and I can't keep up. haha

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  21. I love that you added set a time limit! I find that when I set a timer, I always get so much more done and in less time then I gave myself.

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  22. I always do the most important things first. That way it's a LOT less stressful and I feel way prouder of myself and what I accomplished.

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  23. These are great tips! It's really important to learn how to prioritize. I make sure to do one thing at a time. Multitasking just makes it more crazy!

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  24. A practical sized list is the hardest one for me. However, I've really leveled out my to-do list every day.

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  25. Taking breaks are so important! It helps with burnout and keeps you feeling fresh.

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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  27. I need to buy a planner. Taking breaks are so important! But breaks should be planned.

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  28. Remembering to take a break is always my issue. I get distracted and end up doing one thing after another without stopping. :P

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  29. I really struggle with that "practical" sized list haha but have really been forcing myself to choose 3 "must-do's" and then giving myself permission to check out after them.

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  30. ahhh yes, the practical sized list would help out tremendously i suppose. lol...i am going to give that a try!!

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  31. Taking breaks is a HUGE aspect for me actually getting through my list. I'll also break it up between blog/work related items and personal throughout the day, and I've found that really helps too!

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  32. Sometimes I start the new day with a new list, and sometimes I start new lists each Monday. It depends on what's going on. But new lists are SUPER important!

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  33. I have been feeling down these past few days. I want to take a break and go somewhere tropical. I need breaks to be able to function well and get my to do list done.

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  34. L always make a to-do list and these tips are great! Giving yourself a break, and making sure your list is actually doable is so important. Nothing overwhelms me quicker than a list a mile long!

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  35. I love making lists and crossing things off!! Thanks for sharing these tips, I can be such a procrastinator with things that I need to get done.

    Meaghan xx

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  36. Having a vision board of things you need to get done during the day is very helpful. I have a small whiteboard where I list the things that needs to be done and tick them off as I go through my day. The more tasks I complete, the more it keep me motivated!

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  37. I love my to-do list! Great tips.

    -Alix

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  38. Yes to all of these! It can be so easy to overdo your to-do list!
    -Anna | www.fivefootandfabulous.com

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  39. Great tips indeed! Need this one right now. Struggling with my work/life balance.

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  40. These are such great tips! Taking breaks helps me really narrow down on what I've done and need to do.

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  41. Great tips, I am such a huge list person!!!

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  42. Lists upon lists upon lists! I am a huge to do list person but I don't know if I make practical sized lists... lol.

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  43. I love this post! I am always 12 times more productive when I start my day with a fresh list of things I need to do. I never thought to time each task, but that makes so much sense! That way you aren't spending tooo much time on one thing and ignoring the rest of your list.

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