Are you making these mistakes? Transform your to do lists and increase productivity!

A well-prepared TO-DO list could save you a lot of time and even energy. Ticking off things can be a really addictive thing. This practice could create a sense of satisfaction and deliver a motivation boost for getting more things done. No wonder people are sometimes obsessive about making lists. So how to fall in love with list-making and learn to create effective ones?

1. You are planning too much for one day

To be effective you can’t have a tendency to bite off more than you chew. I must admit that too much planning has always been my biggest feebleness, to be honest. When I finally learned more about productivity I thankfully stopped that overwhelming practice. Now I’m focusing on doing less a day but in a smart way. It makes my life a lot calmer and more peaceful.

2. You are not breaking down your goal into actionable steps

I’m sure you have your goals and dreams, we all do. Try to think about them now. Are they looking unattainable or maybe too big for you to accomplish? If your answer is yes, I think I might have a way to make your every dream become possible to achieve: plan with small steps. How can you do that?

  • Establish your goal properly – name the final result that will satisfy you
  • Define as many actionable steps as you can
  • Set a timeline

Let’s assume that you want to run a successful blog. To do that you’ll need to create a website, buy hosting, establish your niche, etc. Then you probably need to regularly create blog posts with valuable content. When you’ll be able to visualize a big picture of your goal, ask yourself:

What should be my next action which makes me come closer to the goal?

Maybe you’ll need to make a list of blog post ideas. Then you may want to buy a new camera to make good quality photos. Write all of the possible actions (the smallest as you can) and place them in a timeline.

3. Your list has not specified tasks

Your list should encourage you to take action. So if you write your tasks to do as single words or undetermined activities, you’ll be subconsciously avoiding the process of getting things done. When you look at your list you should know exactly what to do to achieve the desired result. When you write something like a Blog post instead of Take photos for a blog post about a capsule wardrobe, your brain is not getting enough information about the next action you want to take to achieve your purpose.

4. You are not reserving time for unexpected issues

Life is so unpredictable and that makes it challenging. Therefore it’s not possible to plan every minute or even every hour of the day. If something important comes up, you’ll need to have some extra time to do that. So keep your list short enough and reserve time for situations when something untoward happens.

5. Your list contains low- or no-value tasks

To do that you need to have a clear vision of your future life and goals. Our time is limited and to be effective we have to do things that are important to us. Read your list carefully once again. Think over every task you wrote and ask yourself: Why do I want to do that? Maybe this action is not necessary for you to do. This simple process could make your list smaller and easier to complete. Furthermore, you’ll gain some extra spare time for yourself.

If you’d like to become an effective person, you might find list-making a very useful tool for planning. I hope that these 5 tips were helpful and you’ll be able to create more productive TO-DO lists from now.

If you’re looking for a digital planner based on the Getting Things Done, click here!


Let me know about your personal thoughts and experiences with making lists 🙂 Are you struggling to get things done? I’d be happy to hear from you!

Love, M

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