I don’t know what I’d without a task list. I’d probably go crazy worrying about forgetting to do stuff.
Over the years of honing my own task lists and also working with clients on their task lists, I’ve come to believe in one important truth If you want to create an effective list—and by that I mean a task list that you actually cross items off of—you need to do this:
Break down all your projects and tasks to their smallest components. Add those tiny tasks to your list one by one.
For example, In the past I would sometimes add an item like, “Catch up on Quickbooks” to my daily task list. That task (really, it’s a project) never got crossed off because large tasks like that are:
I now add to my list small tasks like, “Enter unentered checks from register into Quickbooks.” Or “enter deposits.” Neither of those tasks takes long or feels overwhelming, so I’m much more likely to do them.
Instead of putting “send out holiday cards” on your task list, break that project down into individual tasks, like:
If you break your large tasks or projects down into tiny components, bite by bite you’ll get them done. Bonus: you get the pleasure of crossing off each task as you go. For a task list that feels doable, rather than stressful, always put small tasks on it.