Hack Your To-Do List: 13 Ways Everybody Can Get More Stuff Done

Hack Your To-Do List: 13 Ways Everybody Can Get More Stuff Done

These days, there are all kinds of ways to get things done, and many people find that a to-do list is just what they need to stay on task. But not every mind works the same way and not every t0-do list will work for everyone. 

Hack Your To Do List

 

If you want to hack your to-do list and make it custom-fit for you and your life, you have to consider a few different things. Do you want to use a traditional notepad, or would you rather go electronic? How seriously techie are you? How can you create the ideal tool for yourself? 

Coach Tip: Google Sheets offers several templates that will help you get things done – check them out here.  Other apps I love for getting things done are Google Calendar, Evernote, IdeaGrowr and Trello. And for my editorial calendar and daily schedule, I use a manually-written teacher’s planner that I’ve modified to fit my needs. 🙂 

How do you get things done? What kind of to-do list do you think could work best for you? 

Okay, so we know that to do lists help you track your activities and manage your time. Then again, what happens when your lists grow out of control because they’re too long or there are too many of them?

You might also like to read 127 Powerfully Simple Life Makeover Hacks: Easy Ways to Empower Yourself and Improve Your Life in 30 Days or Less.

Maybe the solution is using a different kind of list. Take a look at your options for designing an effective to do list, along with suggestions for using any productivity tool more effectively.

TO-DO LIST HACKS: How to Build a To-Do List That Works for You

1. Limit the length. Many experts recommend keeping your list as short as 3 to 5 items. Promptly cross off any tasks you complete. Move projects you’re unlikely to get to off to a separate wish list.

2. Consider categories. If you prefer longer lists, categories are one way to stay organized. Separate business and personal items. Group similar activities like shopping, reading, or making phone calls.

3. Juggle timelines. Maybe your projects are interrelated with structured stages and strict deadlines. Calendar functions and color-coding could help you strategize.

4. Add detail. When you need more than a simple list, create a full log. Build in supplementary information like daily summaries, phone numbers, and websites you visit frequently.

5. Block out your time. Do you tend to waste small blocks of time? Planning your day in 30-minute increments could help you spot when you’ll have 10 minutes free for filing or checking messages.

6. Choose paper or digital. You may already know that GTD stands for Get Things Done, and there are a growing number of GTD apps to choose from. On the other hand, paper journals are still popular too. What matters is using them consistently.

Tip: I find that a combination of the two works best for me. Check out my post on which electronic tools I use every day (over at OnlineWritingPro.com)

TO DO LIST HACKS: How to Use Any To Do List Effectively

1. Set priorities. A successful list lets you see your major responsibilities at a glance and approach them systematically. Arrange your list so your top concerns stand out.

2. Distinguish between urgency and importance. Prioritizing raises some tricky questions. Picking up your dry cleaning before the shop closes in 10 minutes is urgent. Spending time with your friends is less time sensitive, but contributes more to your wellbeing. Pay attention to essentials that may otherwise be bumped.

3. Automate routine tasks. Eliminate chores that robots and computers can do for you. Electronic banking frees up your time and gives you peace of mind knowing that your bills have been paid on time.

4. Build in leeway. Studies show that most adults underestimate the time it takes to complete many everyday tasks. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes between appointments. Assume that a new dinner recipe may take you 20 minutes to pull together even if the cookbook claims you can do it in 10.

5. Take a break. Put adequate rest and play on your list each day. It’s time well spent when it keeps you in top shape and prevents burnout.

6. Expect surprises. However comprehensive your list is, you’re sometimes going to run into circumstances that you couldn’t predict. Be prepared to shuffle your other obligations to the next week if your car breaks down or you win a trip to a tropical resort.

7. Evaluate your progress. Hold onto your lists so you can review them periodically. Repeat the practices that simplify your life and fix the patterns that are causing you delays.

Keep your personal and professional life in order. Whether you prefer writing in a notebook with colored markers or downloading the latest productivity app to multiple devices, there’s a to do list that will help you to stay on top of your game.

Okay, now it’s your turn! What are your best to-do list hacks? Share them in the comments.

Want more life hacks? I’m the Queen (Bee)! Check out my books at BooksAngieWrote.com. 

Career Hacks: 3 Simple Steps to Get More Hours Out of Your Work Day

Career Hacks: 3 Simple Steps to Get More Hours Out of Your Work Day

stretching-timeEver have one of those days when it feels like you’re super busy all day at work, but when you look over your progress, you find you’ve not actually completed much? 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it just feels to me like there’s never enough time. But good news – all is not hopeless. In fact, you might be interested in my really simple technique designed to help you get more hours out of each day! 

Career Hacks: A Simple, 3-Step Formula to Extract More Hours From Your Work Day

Does it ever seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day? You feel like you’re busy pushing through your tasks at work, yet so much gets left undone. If only having more hours in the day was an option!

Happily, it might actually be an option, in an indirect way. It’s possible that you aren’t getting as much done in your day because of how you manage your time.

Follow these steps to practice effective time management and add productive hours to your day:

Create a task list. A task list is necessary if you want to ensure maximum productivity. It’s a great way to get a look at the big picture so you know what’s ahead of you.

Creating your task list is somewhat like mind mapping. Just write the items down as they come to your mind. Give very little consideration to the size of the tasks at this point.

You might find that your task list contains tasks for you and others in your workplace.

Your task list helps you to be in control of your day. It’s a great way to develop the calmness you need at the beginning of each day. You’ll find it much easier to cope with stress when you have those tasks listed.

Prioritize responsibilities. The responsibilities you’ve just listed on your task list are all important. But are there some that are more important than others? You bet there are! It’s crucial to organize them accordingly.

Prioritizing responsibilities helps you to share your effort based on the significance of each task. Naturally, you’ll want the things at the top of the list to get most of your time.

At this stage, it’s recommended that you consider your own tasks and the ones for other people separately. Sure, everything requires your attention, but avoid ranking someone else’s urgency above your own important tasks. Remember your hours are precious!

Once you’ve prioritized, take some time to consider whether you can truly give everything your full attention. The things that aren’t as important may need to be shifted to another day.

Allow yourself to focus. If you think that you’re on track after prioritizing, think again! What comes next is ensuring you develop the focus needed to work on each task you’ve listed.

Sometimes creating a task list gives a false sense of being in control of what needs to be done. But remember that you’re aiming to extract more hours from the day. That’s going to involve focusing on each item as you get to it.

Focusing means preventing external factors from affecting your ability to concentrate on the task at hand. It means taking only the necessary breaks and knowing when to ask co-workers to excuse themselves from your office!

There may be times when you might come upon obstacles. If it’s something you’re unable to overcome right away, take a break from that task and move on to something else.

This is a simple formula that allows you to gain what seems like extra hours each day. Give it a try and see just how much more productive you can be. Avoid wasting unnecessary time.

Pretty soon, you’ll be known as the highest achiever in the office. And you’ll be able to gain that title with just a little organization of your time and tasks. You feel me? 

power moves coverHere’s a link to my latest book, entitled Power Moves: 163 Shockingly Simple Career-Boosting Life Hacks Anyone Can Use: Easy Ways to Energize Your Career and Improve Your Life in 30 Days or Less

The book was released earlier this week and is fresh off the press. You can get it for less than $3 today on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store – totally free for Kindle Unlimited members too. 

Just a quick FYI: My book, Project Blissful: Your Whole Life Guide to Misery-Free Weight Loss That Really Works will be free in the Kindle Store on Amazon.com from today, March 13 through Sunday, March 15. 

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