Making a to-do list is pretty much a must to stay on top of projects or even just daily life these days. With the increasing demand for our time in a busier society, a list can be a lifesaver and help keep things from falling through the cracks.
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But you have to do more than just write a few things down on that napkin you found on your nightstand at the last minute in order to get the most from your list. Try the following four surefire ways to maximize your daily docket!
1.Prize Your Prioritization
There are only so many waking hours in a day, so even with a solid to-do list, you won’t get everything done in one go. Give a lot of thought to the urgency of your list items when you’re drafting your agenda.
Prioritizing properly will make you more efficient, which leads to more productivity and a better use of your time. What you must get done that day should be at the top of the list and in the order of necessity. Tasks that can be done the next day should go at the bottom or be left off the list altogether until you make your next list.
Having a list that’s well-thought out in terms of priority also leaves room for you to be more realistic. Don’t freak out if you can’t get to every single thing you’ve written down. If you’ve got everything that’s urgent at the top of your to-do list, chances are whatever is left at the end of the day can wait until tomorrow without causing the sky to fall.
2.Reward Yourself Sometimes
Let’s face it: to-do lists usually aren’t full of things you actually want to deal with. Motivation is key if you want to stick to your list and get what needs to be accomplished done. Set a reward for yourself that you can only have once the most vital tasks on your list are taken care of.
The incentive can be incredibly simple, like having a cup of your favorite tea or watching an episode of your favorite TV show. Whatever you decide, you have to stick to not having it until all the necessary tasks you’ve jotted down are handled. The pleasure of being rewarded after accomplishing what you needed to can also help push you to form better habits when it comes to productivity.
3.Tackle Time Management
Good time management is the foundation of a successful day to begin with, and you’ll need it to stay on top of your daily agenda. Pay attention to how you’re using your time to cut down on unproductive minutes.
Use any tools you have available to you to help consolidate your best intentions and keep you on track. For example, if you’ve got a timer on your phone, you can set it for the duration of a particular task before you get started, and use it to keep you going at the right pace throughout.
If you’ve got an issue with distractions, try to minimize them any way you can. Unplug your TV if you find it all too tempting to catch a few minutes of your preferred shows.
Use social media blocking software if the lure of Facebook or Twitter is too much to resist and drains some of your time during the day. Silence your phone if you’re prone to texting and chatting when you need to be working.
4.Sleep As Needed
It’s naturally tempting to turn on the coffeepot and pull an all-nighter to get your list done, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re setting yourself up for failure on more than one level. Your output when you’re tired isn’t going to be up to par, and you’re also going to feel the effects of short sleep the next day.
On average, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night, according to the Mayo Clinic. Too little sleep can dim your mental focus and even affect your health, so it’s important to make sure you get what you need.
Set an alarm to remind yourself that you need to get to sleep if you’re the type of person who finds it hard to stop doing something once you’ve gotten started. This will help to get you into the habit of hitting the hay at an early enough time to get a full night’s rest.
Remember that there is always tomorrow, so it’s okay if you can’t get everything done in a day!