How to Effectively Use To-Do Lists in 2024

To do lists are seen by some as an easy way to arrange their schedule while by some, it is seen as something that is so tedious and something they can’t just do.
A to-do list is a minute part of a person's growth. There are basics that should be laid down before you have a to-do list in order for it to be effective for you. A list of tasks that you need to carry out at a certain period of time. Your to-do list should be clear and realistic.
Often times, people just make a checklist, and then end up with results they don't want such as procrastination and basically begin to self-storage themselves. A checklist just means you bunching up a number of things that you want to do, without taking out time to know if you can actually do them all in that day. 

We need to do lists because;
⦁    It helps you manage your focus; this is because you can't manage time. Helping you know what you need to do in a day and focusing on them.
⦁    It helps you be productive.
⦁    It helps you remember and clear mental space.

Your head cannot remember everything, no one is a machine. Even machines need settings. So to-do is your own setting.

The problem is when people don’t get to mark all the activities on their to-do lists, they feel pressured and feel they are not productive enough. They conclude that having to do list isn’t their thing and they go ahead with the mentality that 24 hours isn’t enough. Truth be told, 24 hours is enough for you and I. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why do we pressure ourselves into doing a three months, 6 months and even sometimes, a year’s process in a day.

In order to make our to-do list, we have to;
⦁    Learn to organize ourselves, prioritize and stick to those priorities.
⦁    Adequately set your goals using the SMART formula. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound

Your to-do lists should also be in relation with your goals, hence, if you are an employee, it is important to know your company’s weekly, monthly and yearly goals. It is also very paramount to know and understand our seasons and know what it is important at that time.

It should be noted that your to-do list is different from your daily routine. Daily routines are focused on your whole day’s activity and helps clarify where you should put activities on your to-do lists.
⦁    When setting your to-do, use actionable words.
For example, don’t just say wash plates, rather, say, wash plates at 2pm.
⦁    Learn to say NO.
Prioritize your activities and don’t just give in to anything distractions, and sometimes saying yes to a lot of things can be regarded as a distraction, even though you have genuine intentions of showing up or helping.
⦁    Be self-aware

This is important because truth be told, there are days when your to-do list might not get finished. Say a priority task took more than it should, or an emergency came up, could have been a family/health emergency.

You should know why your task was not finished and understand that it was not your fault, hence no self-sabotage. It also helps to question your actions and happenings.

Alongside having a to-do list, is also using reminders. Some people tend to forget things as they are swarmed with other responsibilities.

Conclusively, Make good use of technology. Let your to-do lists be linked up with your goals and schedules. Don't overdo yourself, when you mess up, fix it. Don't just end up saying to do lists isn’t my thing. Within ourselves, we always know when we mess up, that's not the time to talk down, rather, that's the time to fix yourself back to track, and the self-awareness helps you to also know when things are not your fault.

This article is a compilation of Deborah Olugbade's session at The Growth Network's Whatsapp Community. Deborah Olugbade is a product designer and growth enthusiast


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