Make a To-Do List That Gets Done

productivity-guide-cover

Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

Writing a to-do list and actually accomplishing the tasks are two different things. There is no right or wrong way to make a list, but if you want a better shot at actually crossing everything off, try a couple of these tips.

Write it down. Everything is digital these days, so physically writing a list can separate tasks in your brain and make it feel different and more important.

Put the list where you can see it. Putting the list in your back pocket is not good enough. Pin it on your wall at work, or write a post it and stick in on your monitor. If you are a neat freak, that will just motivate you to do the tasks so you throw away that ugly yellow post-it on your monitor.

Make it manageable. This can be done in a variety of ways. Limit your list to tasks for that day only. Or cut off the list at ten things.

Cross things off. Basic, simple, and worth it. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction, and makes the remaining items look less intimidating.

(photo: Peteris B)

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  • Chris__

    My favorite to-do list is not some Dontforgetthemilk or TadaList, it’s FriendPaste. It’s a textfile that is always there, super-fast, and available on my Blackberry (or anything else) thru a Web browser. I keep a second list going for restaurants I want to try too, so I can access it when I’m out and about and away from my laptop. The universality is key, and the text format makes it super easy to use.

    Except, I’m so reliant upon it I start to feel like that guy in Memento, telling myself what I have to do minute to minute. :)