Use a to-do list to help you manage your time better. Below I want to share some tips to keep your list simple and effective.
WARNING: A to-do list can quickly become one of your time wasters, so it’s important to use a to-do list in a way that improves your life and saves you time.
How to effectively use a to-do list
Add the key things and times throughout the day that need doing.
8.40am Leave the house for school
1oam ~ Meet Lucy
3pm Pick up Children from school
These are your Fixed Times on your to-do list. Next add in anything you want to get done in between.
Phone dentist, Text Jayne, go for a walk, Cook … for evening meal, Go to the supermarket…
This is a simple example, but it gives you an idea of how to effectively use a simple to-do list.
Not all of your day needs to be planned and not everything needs to go on your to-do list
Some people try to plan every second of their day. I personally don’t advise this. Instead, plan zones of time.
So for me, my zones are…
- Business hours AM
- Business hours PM
- Pre-evening meal
- Evening meal
Make your time zones fit your day.
My pre-work routine is pretty much the same every day, so I don’t need to write any of this down.
My business times have written goals and a to-do list of things I need to do and want to achieve.
Lunch and evening meals definitely need planning but don’t necessarily need writing down on your to-do list. Instead, I would recommend having a separate meal planner.
Things you might want to write down
- Phone calls you need to make
- Errands you need to run
- Jobs around the home, you need to do (Again you don’t need to write down the jobs you routinely do everyday).
- Business/work/study goals
- Activities involving children, such as play date times, school events, after school club events.
Things I don’t advise adding to your to-do list
- Get up ~ Instead just set your alarm if you need to be up at a certain time and just do it every day.
- Go to the bathroom
- Get dressed
- Eat lunch
- Feed dog
- Go to sleep…
These things go without saying. By the time you reach adulthood I’m hoping you don’t need to have “Brush your teeth” on your to-do list.
If they are things you do every day naturally and you don’t need to think about them, they don’t need to be on your to-do list.
Don’t overload yourself
Be careful when planning your day not to overload yourself. I work with a lot of clients who add a ridiculous amount of things to their to-do list and neve have a hope of actually completing them in 24 hours. So have a separate ongoing to-do list and a daily one. More about this below.
I have clients who add loads to their to-do list, become completely overwhelmed and don’t complete any of it. Or very few.
And finally, there are the clients who feel that unless they have a 5-page to-do list completed every day, they don’t deserve to be successful. This doesn’t usually work out great for them.
Have an ongoing to do list and a daily to-do list.
This has saved me so much time. It also means you have somewhere (one place) to write down anything that comes to you, including those great ideas.
At the beginning of the week, highlight the things you want to get done during the week. Then each day simply transfer some of these over to your to-do list for that day only. Remember not to overload. If you get everything done and still have time to do more, you can simply use your ongoing list.
This blog post is part of a series. To read the rest of my time-management tips, go to Time-Management
OVER TO YOU
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