To-do lists can be very useful to organise the tasks you want to achieve in a simplistic and motivational way. I’ve decided to share my tips for creating a to-do list that work for me, and hopefully can be applicable for you too.
Design your list: Before you even think about what tasks to put on your list, it’s essential to decide on the format of your list. This mainly includes whether you want to hand write it or type it up (either way is valid). If you choose to hand write it then you need to consider if you will use a bought list, design your own or simply scribble on random pieces of paper. If you choose to type it up then you should decide if you will create your own document or use an app specifically made for to-do lists. I personally use an app called ‘Wunderlist‘ for most of my lists as I find it easier to edit on a device rather than scribbling all over a handwritten one, and I can set reminders for my higher priority tasks.
Don’t write tasks that are too big: Tasks that are too big will make you feel more inclined to put them off as they seem too hard to achieve. Instead, break up the big tasks into smaller, more achievable tasks so you feel more motivated to do them. Then you will also feel more accomplished when you’ve ticked off more things which will boost your motivation to complete even more tasks!
Write everything you want to achieve: It is important to write down everything you want to achieve so that you can figure out which tasks have the most priority without forgetting other small tasks that can be completed another time. For some people, having all these tasks in the one list might be overwhelming so it’s perfectly okay to transfer the less priority tasks onto another list and then move them onto the main list at a later date. I personally like to keep all my tasks on my list, knowing that I won’t complete them all, because it motivates me to tick off more things. Then I will still have achieved more than I thought I would have anyway and I will have given myself more options of things to do so there is a higher chance I would have completed tasks.
Create categories: It can be helpful to create different categories within your to-do lists (or to turn these categories into their own lists) to organise your tasks so that they motivate you more and make you feel more accomplished in different aspects of your life. These categories can include broad headings such as “home”, “work”, “school”, “hobbies” etc. or can be very specific such as “bedroom tasks”, “things to buy”, “english homework” etc.
Avoid vague phrasing: Vaguely phrased tasks can be off putting to complete as they don’t explicitly state what tasks underneath that title need to be completed; it could be one small thing or 10! For example, instead of writing “do maths homework”, write each specific task separately such as “complete exercise 1A of maths” and then make “maths homework” the category or title of the to-do list.