Creating a successful Todo list

There are a multitude of websites, books and systems dedicated to getting things done via lists. After trying out various tricks and strategies, I believe that the following will make a todo list work for anyone:

1. Have a hierarchy of tasks – life goals -> projects towards them -> tasks.
2. Have one master list to put every task on it.
3. Thoroughly review the list at least once a week and update everything created under #1 in this weekly review.
4. Aggressively remove items from your list, or make them top priority, if they stay too long in the list.
5. Have a system to schedule future tasks, a calander or tickler file, so you cannot forget them.
6. Copy completed work into an accomplished list. Review this list weekly to know your style and preference of working on projects. You will also feel good to see progress or get cautioned about lack of it.

And here is the most important tip.

Plan your day. Sit down every morning and take ten minutes to write a list of things (from your overall task list) you would like to accomplish. These few minutes can save a couple of hours (or more) of needless effort during the day. Keeping this list in front of you will also keep you focussed throughout the day on what is important and will help you prioritize when you get bogged down by interruptions and distractions.

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1 Comment

  1. August 21, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    […] I wrote on how to create and maintain a successful to-do list and planning your day here. But regardless of careful planning and well-intentioned focus, interruptions do happen and we get distracted by various events during the day. Here is something that worked for me to make it easier to avoid getting sucked away from important projects by these distractions. […]


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