A to-do list is more than just listing things on your mind. A to-do list is an organizational tool designed to make your work easier and guide you through the day. In order for this to work, you have to stick to a few rules of the game. Because otherwise, you will not create clarity and order, but rather a confusion and additional stress. You should keep an eye on these to-do list failures from now on.
Too Many Small Things
Don’t use your to-do list as a catchall for every little thing. The purpose of your to-list is to collect and organize most important tasks so that you can complete them quickly and efficiently.
Appointments, contact details, things for the weekly shop, or background information about your favorite series are not part of it and have no place on your to-do list! Only tasks – things that have to be done – are allowed to be put on your list; then nothing.
You should also distinguish between important and unimportant items and, for each item, consider whether there is really a need to add to your list. Because otherwise your to-do list will be too full, and you will lose track. And in the pile of not that important tasks, you might lose one crucial. But even in this case, there is a way out. A paper writing service of your choice will help you out with your essay.
Make sure that your tasks are formulated clearly and precisely. There’s nothing worse than reading a task on a to-do list and then wondering, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Suppose you look at your list and read the item “Book”. What are you going to do with it? Which book do you mean? do you have to read the book If yes, which pages? Might it have to go back to the Bib? If so, when? Today? Or did you borrow it from a fellow student? Did you want to scan some chapters first? You don’t know – too bad.
To-do lists are popular because we don’t have to remember the tasks we’ve written down. The list reminds us. Stupid only if our notes are too imprecise and thereby become worthless. Formulate your to-dos as precisely as possible! You should record any relevant information so that you don’t waste your thinking capacity remembering any details.
Goals Too Big
Your tasks and goals must not be so big that they deter and block you. Your to-do list is not an overarching strategy paper with your goals for the next 5 years. It is a compilation of your current tasks. And that’s why points like “working through old exams”, “writing a bachelor’s thesis” or “running a marathon” are not among the to-dos that should be on your list.
Don’t get me wrong: Overarching, big goals are great, and you should write them down – but they don’t belong on your to-do list. If you choose your tasks too big, you only build up additional pressure and thus block yourself. Your tasks must therefore be attainable and feasible. This is the only way to get closer to your big goals, step by step.
Break up large tasks into small, manageable units and work through them one after the other! Create your own list for your long-term goals!
Distinguish between important and unimportant tasks and bring structure to your to-do list. Not all tasks on your list are important or need to be done urgently. There are some things you just mustn’t forget – but the process can tend to wait a while.
Without making priorities, you get bogged down and make wrong decisions. On your to-do list, you should therefore be preventive and evaluate your tasks according to importance and urgency. Prioritize your tasks! Divide your to-do list into two columns: in the first column, but the important and urgent tasks; the rest is entered in the other column!
If you approach your to-dos without a fixed deadline, you waste time and work unproductively. When we work, we follow what is known as Parkinson’s law: “A task expands in proportion to the time available for its completion.” That means the more time we have available for a task, the longer we need it also for that.
Example: If you have a month to prepare for an exam, you will waste the first three and a half weeks with unproductive summaries and perfectionistic detail work. In the end, as the deadline approaches, you really step on the gas again and get the most done. Why? Because the deadline forces you to. Therefore, assign a deadline to each task on your to-do list and provide binding information.