Home » How to Organize Goals and To-Dos

Many people use to-do lists to maximize their time management and productivity, but they can quickly become chaotic if you simply write down tasks mindlessly. Therefore, in order to get the most out of this useful organizational tool, you need to keep organized as you create your lists.

While some of the ways that you organize will be up to your personal preferences, there are some general guidelines that apply to anyone trying to organize their life with to-do lists. Whether you’re getting organized for business or pleasure, this brief guide will give you the top three tips for keeping your to-dos neat, tidy, and productive.

Prioritize

Whether you’re organizing your day or a party, you need to demarcate what tasks are most important and what can fall by the wayside if need be. If you’re planning a vacation, for example, you absolutely must book flights and hotels as soon as you can, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t make it to the store to buy pool floaties. Therefore, whenever you compose a to-do, you should mark off what tasks are time-sensitive and/or essential to future plans and what can wait until tomorrow if need be. Find a system, such as ranking or highlighting, that works for your needs.

Use Master Lists

For a long-term goal or project, you may have a series of tasks that you need to complete over the course of weeks or months, and as a general rule, you want to avoid crowding your daily to-do with tasks that don’t need to be completed until next week. On this master list, you should write your overall goal at the top and then break it into smaller, more manageable tasks, taking care to note if any of them are time sensitive or depend upon the completion of another task. You can then add these tasks to your regular to do.

You should also have a master list for miscellaneous tasks that aren’t time sensitive, such as redecorating a room in your house or starting language classes. This to-do allows you to keep track of those random projects that you would like to get around to while still keeping your main lists organized.

Download a To-Do App

Smartphone and computer applications can revolutionize your to-do lists by making them more organized and portable while integrating them with your other apps. An application helps you keep all of your to-dos in one easily accessible place, so you don’t have to worry about losing or spilling on a piece of paper. Furthermore, apps also include features that enable you to perform functions such as syncing lists and sharing between users, and many to-do apps also include other features like email integration and shared calendars. Therefore, while going old school can be satisfying, using apps will help you use your to-do lists to their fullest potential.

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