3 Simple Steps to Tame Your To-Do List Once and For All

Sick of being jerked around by your unruly to-do list? Use these 3 simple steps to put your to-do list back in its place and keep it there.

If you’re like most people, your day-to-day life is more or less ruled by an assortment of never-ending tasks. These tasks come from several places—emails, texts, calls, conversations, your memory; and live in several places—note cards, whiteboards, calendars, apps, your head. With tasks coming from so many places and living in so many places, it’s no wonder we spend much of our daily lives feeling like we’re treading water against an incessant current of random, disconnected to-dos. The next time you find yourself getting sucked under the task list rapids, use these three simple steps to keep yourself afloat and calm all the task currents in your life.

Step 1: Understand the 4 Types of Tasks
Our day-to-day lives tend to be so filled up with tasks and we focus so much on chipping away at them that we often give little or no thought to our approach. When we bucket our tasks the right way, our work is easier to do and the tasks actually get done. So what’s the right way to bucket our tasks? By the four types of tasks: incidentals, routines, projects, and problems. Check out our post The 4 Types of Tasks and How to Tackle Them to learn more about each type of task and see examples of each.

“When we bucket our tasks the right way, our work is easier to do and the tasks actually get done.”

Step 2: Find a Home for Each Type of Tasks
Once you know what the four types of tasks are and how they impact each other, the next step is to decide on homes where each type of task will live. Are your incidentals going to live on note cards or on a to-do list app? What about your routines? Of course, we hope you have them live in Tactick, the app built specifically for routine tasks. Finding one home for all of your projects is a bit tricky, since there are as many project management apps and software options as there are sizes and types of projects, but you can certainly find ones that will fit your specific needs, including Tactick in some cases. And problems? Those don’t usually have a home, since we don’t plan for them and we usually have to take care of them immediately.

Step 3: Keep Each Task Home Organized
Once you understand the four task types and pick homes for each one, the last—and most challenging—step is to keep each home running smoothly. As hard as it is to get organized, it’s even harder to stay organized. We’ve all had neglected incidental and routine tasks turn into mini if not major projects (that one closet in your house, that one report for work), and we’ve all expended massive amounts of effort to get these projects done only to see our success quickly give way to the clutter and chaos that continually creeps into all aspects our lives.

So what does it take to stay organized, to keep your to-do list in line, your routines humming along, and your projects progressing? You guessed it: routines. Just imagine how well-behaved your to-do list would be if you simply updated it routinely throughout the day, if every morning you simply scanned it for routine tasks and put those tasks in their natural habitat—Tactick. Just imagine how well your personal, family, and professional life would run if you routinely did the simple things you already know need to be done. Just imagine how many projects you could get to and get through, projecting your personal, family, and professional life forward. Now stop imagining: Get Tactick. Get Done. Get Happy.

Category: Personal

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