Keeping A To-Do List Can Help You Reduce Stress
By Ann Smith
Do you often find that you can’t keep track of your obligations? Does it seem like your life is a jumbled, stressful mess that you can’t possibly get into order?
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to make your life less chaotic and more enjoyable. One of these is learning how to make and use to-do lists.
The typical to-do list
Even if you’ve never written or used one in your entire life, you’re almost certainly familiar with the concept of a to-do list. The most basic to-do list consists of a simple record of tasks that you have to complete within a certain period of time. This list can be as simple as a few chores jotted down on a sticky note or as detailed as a page full of tasks you have to tackle before you can complete a work-related project, but the concept is always the same.
How to make an effective to-do list
Before making your list, you’ll have to determine which tasks you have to complete. Take a few minutes to relax, organize your mind, and mentally take down the tasks you have to complete.
The next step is to assign priorities. In any to-do list, some tasks will be more important or urgent than others. Order the tasks in your list by their respective importance and urgency using a numbering or lettering system. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll know exactly where to begin once you’re ready to start working.
Many people write their to-do lists on paper, but you may find it more helpful to write yours using the notepad app on your computer or your smartphone. It doesn’t matter where you’ve recorded your prioritized tasks as long as you can easily access them.
Types of to-do lists
You may find it helpful to draw up separate to-do lists for home and the workplace. You can even create to-do lists for individual projects and erase each list once you’ve completed them.
Following up on your to-do list
All too often, people with productivity issues will make complicated, drawn-out to-do lists and then not complete any of the tasks they’ve written down. If you neglect your work, your to-do list will be rendered useless. For this reason, it’s best to make your list right before you start working on the tasks you’ve written down. Otherwise, you may just put your to-do list in a drawer and completely forget about it.
If you feel stressed out about the amount of work you have to do, consider drawing up a few to-do lists. By doing so, you can set your priorities and tackle each task one by one without hesitating. You may even gain some extra free time as a result. The to-do list is an incredibly simple concept, but it can have a great impact on your quality of life.