The Productive Way to Write a Daily To-Do List

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Do you spend countless minutes poring over your to-do list?The Productive Way to Write a Daily To-Do List

Do you put a lot of effort into rearranging your tasks, errands and the like?

In this post, I offer a few helpful hints on writing a short to-do list in a timely, and productive fashion.

Focus on today’s to-dos.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the possible tasks you could accomplish, today, tomorrow, or even next week.

To keep things under control, focus on five small- to medium-sized tasks which absolutely must get done today.

Quickly jot down the tasks on a piece of paper or in a text editor or app.

It doesn’t matter in which order the tasks fall in right now, the idea is just to get them out of your head and onto the paper or screen.

Review and prioritize your list.

Now that you’ve gotten the tasks out of your head, you can review them with an objective eye.

Taking each of the tasks into account, you’re going to look for patterns among the five items and quickly prioritize them.

Group the tasks together by location, task type, or time of day/due date. For example, you might have a raw list like the following:

Walk dog
Review emails
Write report
Pick up dry cleaning
Read that long business article

There’s several ways to organize this list. If you’re going to sort it by location, you could do the following to make it easy for you to visualize where the tasks will take place.

Park
Walk dog

Work
Review emails
Write report
Read that long business article

Errands
Pick up dry cleaning

Maybe you’re more interested in sorting your to-do by task type? You could do something like the following:

Around Town
Walk dog
Pick up dry cleaning

In the Office
Review emails
Write report
Read that long business article

Perhaps you’re more interested in when things are due during your day. You could sort items like this:

Walk dog (7am – Sparky needs to be let out of the house in the morning!)
Write report (Due at 12pm)
Review emails (Anytime between 1-2pm)
Read that long business article (Before 4pm meeting)
Dry cleaning (Store closes at 6pm

Get to work.

The beauty of writing and organizing a short to-do list is that it allows you to focus on what’s really important to you during the day and how you want to go about organizing the information.

Now that you’ve planned out your day, you’ll have a much easier time going out and getting things done!

How about you? What do you find is the most difficult part of writing a to-do list? Writing everything down, prioritizing items, or something else? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.