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We all know that feeling after we’ve accomplished something.
And quite frankly, it’s one of the best feelings for me. Sometimes, it means tackling the laundry or piles of dishes I’ve been putting off in hopes of them magically disappearing. Other times, it’s managing to squeeze in some quality time with my friends and family in an overflowing schedule.
Tackling even the smallest tasks like these helps me feel so much better about myself, and I’ve found it helpful when it comes to improving my mental well-being. The truth is, our modern lifestyle can easily make our days incredibly hectic, even more so if there’s no structure. This is exactly the reason why I started making to-do lists every single day.
It’s a recent decision I made, but I can’t even begin to explain the impact it had on me. So I figured I’d share some of the ways creating a to-do list changed my life, and how you, too, can benefit from making one yourself.
How does having a to-do list help?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably caught yourself spending hours on meaningless things quite a few times. In fact, I used to spend (read: waste) several hours per day just scrolling through my social media feed. My confidence level seemed to plummet due to constant comparison to other people’s lives. Plus, I didn’t tackle the majority of tasks I was supposed to.
Once I started making to-do lists, I found that unnecessary, everyday actions like these just prevent us from being happy. A to-do list also made me realize what I wanted to do with my time—and I certainly didn’t want to waste any more of it. I learned how to prioritize my tasks, and I was able to track my progress more easily. Finally, I started to feel more organized, accomplished, and productive overall.
What do you put on a to-do list?
The best thing about a to-do list is that it can be anything you want it to be. It doesn’t have to include any set number of tasks, and it doesn’t have to focus on something in particular.
Personally, when I make mine, I add a bunch of random but still important tasks that spring to mind. It really depends on what I’ve been focusing on lately.
For instance, when I was decluttering my home, I wrote reminders about everything from dropping my unworn and unused clothes at Goodwill to shopping for storage that will help me tame all that household clutter. But for the most part, I’ll add tasks such as folding laundry and calling loved ones to my typical to-do list. It basically serves as a reminder of what I expect to accomplish that day, giving me something to stick to.
What can you use to-do lists for?
Personally, I’ve found that having several to-do lists made it easier for me to manage different areas of my life. In fact, I think that they can help both in business and day-to-day life.
Whether you’re a business owner who’s got some statement mailing that they need to tackle or a stay-at-home mom running multiple errands, to-do lists can help you stay organized and on top of tasks. That way, you can manage to run your business efficiently and make sure every important task is taken care of. You can use to-do lists for pretty much any area of your life where you need to get more done.
How do you follow a to-do list?
To-do lists can be incredibly helpful, but creating them alone isn’t enough. Sometimes, certain tasks will require some planning and preparing in advance. This is why you want to go through your checklist in the morning, or even the day before.
This will give you the much-needed heads-up and make sure you’re prepared for the day. More importantly, it’ll help you avoid falling into the trap of “I forgot to bring it, so I can’t do this today” type of excuses. This is definitely one of the things we should stop doing as soon as possible. Whether you use paper or an app, be sure to have your to-do list on hand. That way, you’ll be able to read through it at all times and cross things off once you’ve accomplished them.
A to-do list—along with the structure it provides—is something I craved for quite a while now, but never bothered to make time for. Now that I realize just how much it helped me, I’m wondering why I’ve been putting it off for so long.
Not only did it help me manage my time—a finite resource—more effectively, but it’s also helped me get my life back in balance, which is why I believe everyone should give to-do lists a try.