The Art of Making To-Do Lists ‍

There's more to To-Do Lists than just jotting down your tasks. To be productive, it's important to make an efficient list.

 min. read
August 8, 2022
The Art of Making To-Do Lists ‍

Our brain operates like a chef in the busy restaurant kitchen – trying to flip a pancake, crack an egg, refill coffee mugs, stir the stew pot and much more. We try to do it all at once but research has proved that the human brain is not wired to multitask. We might be able to manage all the tasks by switching our attention constantly but we cannot work on everything all at once. They say, humans don’t do a lot of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task very quickly.

One of the classic ways to map your day is to make efficient To-Do List(s). People tend to take rough paper notes, make pointers, type out a text in their phone believing they would open it up to see their outstanding task. We don’t realize that this jittery list of tasks can be overwhelming, unfocused and incomplete, and therefore might not push you to finish your day with finesse.

Here are a few secrets of making a to-do list that actually works!

A to-do list technically means curating everything that is to be done in one place – and by just putting them down in a list does not make it useful. Very often, these lists are disorganized and lack clarity as to what all is to be done!

Let’s try out these tips and tricks to make your day more productive, organized and efficient.  

- Make An ‘Everything’ Concoction

The first step is to write down every possible task that seems important for the day. Having a list of tasks opens tabs in your brain to be constantly thinking about – for example, a client brief that needs an idea to be cracked can always be in the back of your mind while you complete other tasks. It is time we rely less on the human memory, and to make life easier by using tools for the future self.

You can choose a to-do list application or google chrome extension on the go. You can also access your list on all your connected devices.

Avoid a Random Mishmash of Everything

While you might be working on multiple projects at once, retaining the progress and reviewing the work might get overwhelming and confusing. To work more efficiently, consider making more than one to-do list – for instance, you can make multiple lists concerning the multiple projects you might be working on, tracking the progress and tick marking every task done.

You can create your to-do lists depending on the number of tasks in hand, the due date, according to your daily time allotment or simply by categorizing your tasks according to the nature of the job. 

Make your tasks action-driven – easily completable and stricken off your list. Another important one can be personal reminders.

-  Curate by Workflow, Due Date & Priority

Handwritten to-do lists can get outdated quickly! To avoid wasting time re-organizing every now and then, you can depend on the AI to do your work. Lookout for a template that works for you, create a structure and let the AI do the rest of the work for you.

Organize your list by ‘High Priority’, ‘Medium Priority’ and ‘Low Priority’. You can also attach your calendar to sort your task list by due date. Meetly helps you organize the day efficiently, take down notes and schedule the meetings.

-  Add Action Items to Your List

Make a list that pushes you to meet deadlines. Your to-do list is not a place for thoughts and notes – while they might be important to be written down, don’t cram up your to-do list under the heavy details of the task. Your to-do list should be a mere checklist of the important jobs in hand.

Time and again, deadlines arrive before we can speculate. Before you know, you have scrolled your social media, replied to emails and perhaps made another cup of coffee, and yet that task is still pending. We live in the era of the internet, where distractions come handy. To keep yourself focused, to finish up all the tasks in time, planning and organizing the day is very important.

Do you dread that the details might get lost if not noted down? With access to the internet, you can work towards making your life hyper organized. Take down notes, share them with your team members, organize meets and much more, with just a few clicks on the internet.

Actions First, Words Later

In addition to the action items, prioritize them by markings. Title your to-do list with the action and add the details later. The title should initially give away the next task in hand before reading the words written under.

For example, choose a template that shows the title in big and bold font, easily readable and understandable. Add the details as a description of the task, add milestones or steps to complete it.

For something due tomorrow and with the sudden realization ‘woah that is a lot of work!’ – try breaking the big tasks into smaller ones. Small milestones keep you motivated to complete the task faster.

- Club Similar Tasks

Every time you start a new task from the list, your brain needs to adjust and recalibrate. Make your job easier by clubbing all the similar tasks together. You can be in the zone to quickly complete tasks that are on the same lines.

For example – dedicate one or two hours to respond to every email in your inbox. An advertiser might break up the day into ideation, strategy building, working on the design and copy and further, execution. You are the best judge to understand the nature of your jobs and divide the day accordingly.

- Your List is Your Bible

To make your day a success, abide by the to-do lists you’ve created. You can have one list for professional goals, one for personal goals and another just as reminders for the day. Post the most important to-dos, flag them as priority and make the critical work visible with colored flags.

Even if you start the day with lesser important jobs, make sure you finish the important tasks before the day runs out.

- Reward Yourself with Breaks

Every time you strike off a task from your list, reward yourself with a small break. Go to the balcony for a stroll, water your plants, listen to some music or take a quick snack break. Never compromise on taking a break. 

Research suggests that working long hours at a stretch can cause fatigue. Your brain needs to rejuvenate to increase productivity and efficiency.

- Collaborate on One Platform

Planning your day and being organized always brings in an advantage. Bring your team on the same page by collaborating on the same platform to increase visibility and productivity. You can also easily delegate work, distribute responsibility and help each other out in times of difficulties.

Meetly is built to solve your day-to-day problems in terms of organization, collaboration, team work, productivity and completion of tasks on the to-do list. Get your team to subscribe to Meetly, that way, you are not the only one working efficiently and with increased clarity.