GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – On Carolina’s Family at 4 p.m., we like to bring you information you can use and that you may find helpful. And some of that will be life hacks that can help you improve how you’re getting things done.
On Thursday, we welcomed our life hacking expert Hannah McKeel Young to offer some tips about those dreaded to do lists.
It’s a busy and stressful time as school starts back and the holidays begin. It’s important to be organized with your time and know how to create and complete your to-do list in the most productive way.
If you’ve ever made a to-do list for errands or chores, you can probably relate to the stressful feeling of never getting to the bottom of it.
And here’s the secret – you have been doing it wrong this whole time!
Young said there are only three steps to organizing your to-do list.
If you’re putting as much as possible on your to-do list, making your to-do list items vague or not budgeting for enough time to complete each task, you’re doing your to-do list wrong and you likely won’t get everything done.
The night before the day you’re planning, grab a sticky note (Post-it Note). You get only one for your entire day!
Begin by listing out actionable tasks on your sticky note, and if it doesn’t fit, it needs to wait.
Make sure each item on your to-do list is actionable. For example if your car needs an oil change, rather than just putting “car” on your to-do list, which is vague and not actionable, re-write it so you know exactly what you need to do. For example, write “Take car for oil change”. This is a small, but crucial thought to keep in mind while making your to-do list.
Why? A sticky note is the perfect size help you prioritize the most important things you need to do for that day.
The longer your list, the less likely of a chance you’ll actually get to everything on it, leading to stress and overwhelm instead of a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Sticking to the post it ensures you put the priorities on your list first, and it ensures that you’ll actually have the time in your day to make it all happen.
The next step is to assign each task it’s own “time chunk”.
Next to each item on your to-do list, write, and slightly over estimate, how much time each task will take you to complete.
The final step is to schedule all of these to-do list tasks into your daily schedule with clear start and end times.
If you’re certain that those items need to be accomplished that day, realistically, you need to create the time to complete them.