Productivity Tip: A To-Do List that Really Works

I’ve been struggling lately with getting everything done in a decent amount of time. Part of my problem revolves around the fact that I don’t really have a solid to-do list. I usually just jot things down in my notepad app on my computer, but then the items never really get addressed unless they are things that can be done online.

So, in an effort to get more done, I’m tackling my dreaded to-do list and giving it a makeover. I’ve found that by having 4 quadrants, I can quickly assign items in order of importance. That gives me a visual representation of what’s important, what needs to be done, what can wait and what can be delegated to someone else.

Like most people, seeing what I’ve already accomplished helps motivate me. Sure, seeing the giant to-do list can be daunting, but every time I cross a line through something, I feel like I’m really getting something done. By having everything categorized by importance, I can see what I absolutely have to finish and just focus on that portion of my to-do list. This will all make more sense as a visual, so without further adieu:

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 2.07.02 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 2.08.06 PM

By only giving myself 3 spaces on each of my high priority sections, I can make sure I’m not over scheduling myself. This way, I actually have a shot at getting everything done in the day. By organizing items by priority as I add them to my to-do list, I keep myself on target for the day. Drawing out the grid only takes a second each morning and gives me a minute to pre-plan my day before jumping in.

Do you use a to-do list or a priorities list? What is your system like? What works for one person might not work for another, so show me what you’ve got!

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