3 Ways To Tackle Your To-Do List

Whether you are a student facing your final exams, a film director at the start of production, or a journalist with a deadline for the morning news edition, we all have To-Do Lists that, in the beginning, seem nearly impossible and overwhelming. Then it comes time to get to work, and, surprisingly enough, most of us go through the same process in order to begin: we take a step back, take a deep breath, and then say, “Ok, first thing's first.” 

By prioritizing that initial task, we take a crucial step in helping ourselves to accomplish your goals.  In this article we will explore how successful individuals set prioritized and organized goals for themselves and how these goals have helped them become successful in their endeavors and their dreams.

Know Your Mission

Before you can set yourself up with a To-Do List, you must first know what it is you are working to accomplish.  This could mean knowing what your finished product will be or look like, how much money you want to make, or even a promotion that you hope to receive upon completion of your goal.  Whatever the case may be you must understand that this is the End-Goal, the ultimate task that you want to achieve.  Everything that you do in order to reach that point will fall into more specified categories of your goals, namely your To-Do List.

Set Your Priorities

Now that you know exactly what it is you are trying to do or accomplish, you must begin considering how you will go about achieving it.  This is where you begin mapping out your To-Do List.  A good example here is the senior student that must write a Senior Thesis paper in order to graduate with his degree.  A generalized To-Do List for this End-Goal may go something like this:

  1. The student begins with a Thesis Statement that gives a direct, but brief account of the content that the paper will cover. 
  2. The student sets a schedule for working X on the assignment X amount of hours per day or week in order to complete the assignment by the deadline.
  3. The student follows his schedule using a structured list of prioritized tasks to complete the assignment on time. 

Keep Yourself Going

Once you know your End-Goal and you have mapped-out your plan and schedule, you begin working to achieve said goal.  This is where many of us lose focus and our determination and drive begins to wane, and also why it is so important to take the time and actually write-out our To-Do List and End Goal. In the case of our student writing his Thesis Paper, the process of writing a paper whilst conducting research on the subject simultaneously can become a daunting task. Keeping the End-Goal fresh in your mind and disciplining yourself to strictly follow your schedule (not working too much or too little) can keep that initial drive going until you have, at last, accomplished your End Goal.