In this post we’ll discuss one of the most important tools of productivity, the infamous to do list. I’ll also include a printable template for a to do list which can be downloaded by all premium members. Be sure to read the entire post as well as watch the short tutorial video to get the most benefit.

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Download: Document In The Above Video


Before we can start however, we need to define the term to do list.

What’s a To Do List?

A to do list, also called task list is a simple way of organizing the things you need to get done. Most of us have some experience with writing to do lists, however few people have actually thought about how to use them in an efficient manner, utilizing its full potential. In this post we’ll cover the basics of to do lists as well as offer some deeper insights.

What you’ll need

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  1. Paper

    A piece of paper, simple and affordable. I recommend you to download the to do list template provided in this post, it will save you the time and energy of doing it yourself.

  2. A pen/pencil

    It’s been around for thousands of years and still as good as always. I personally would recommend that you use a regular pencil for these purposes. That way you’ll be able to erase, edit and add new entries as you go.

  3. Objectives

    A clear idea of the things needed to be planned for. A to do list is no good if it’s only partial. If you want your to do list to be as effective as possible you’ll need to first have a very clear picture of the things that you need to have done and at what date they need to be finished. Also, you’ll need to know the scope of the project, is it small, medium or large? When is the deadline, what happens if the deadline is not met? These are important parameters that have to be taken into consideration before you can write everything down.


Further Tips

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  1. Step by Step

    Don’t feel overwhelmed with all the things ahead of you. Remember the old Chinese proverb that says; “A journey of 10,000 miles starts with one step.

  2. Be like a Train

    The train keeps on moving, each day and every hour you see it travel to its destinations. Be sure to get into the habit of finishing your tasks, anyone with a hand can write them down.

  3. Incentives

    If you’re having a difficulty in getting your tasks done maybe it could be wise to start offering yourself incentives. You could for instance say; if I finish task “x” and “y” you will get “z”.

  4. Break it up

    If the tasks are too large in scope, break them up into smaller easier tasks.

  5. See the larger picture

    There’s a famous parable of two construction workers, both engaged in building the same wall but with different mindsets. When asked about what they are doing the first one says; “I am building a stone wall”. The other however answers “I am building a hospital”. You need to remind yourself of you why are doing these tasks to begin with. Are you learning Laplace Transforms or are you becoming an engineer. The same holds true for any educational or profession.