How Your To-Do List Can Make You a Happier Person

Procrastination. One of my biggest weaknesses. Not because I am lazy…which I definitely am. It is because I don’t manage my time productively. In an attempt to do everything, I end up finishing almost nothing. In short, I didn’t go by any To-Do List.

For the last few years, I have been juggling with motherhood, homemaking, studying, taking care of my ailing parents and juggling with random assignments to earn my pocket money. Well most of us do. I have been struggling with multitasking and yet I am unable to finish many of the important chores. My writing took a back seat. Writing has been one big healing process for me since ages. Imagine the amount of damage it would have done to my otherwise chirpy self. Annoying and highly frustrating!

What Happened?

One fine morning I sat down all by myself and realized the mistake I was making. As a working mother, things were crystal clear and absolutely sorted. Even with all the madness around the children. Everything had a well-assigned time slot in my routine life. Plus, I had an extra helping hand and I knew what to delegate, what to use my brain on and what to prioritize.

Then I had my Déjà vu moment. I had this bundle of one-side printer waste papers from the printing section which I had clipped well into a to-do-list planner. This was on my desk (next to my laptop) and I would follow it all day long. That worked very well for me.

Solution

This is when I decided to return to the habit of making a to-do-list every morning. A habit I cultivated while in class 10th out of fear of failing the board exams. The time table craze went off within a few days. I enjoyed making the to-do list, prioritizing tasks and checking off the ones that were done. It was a motivating experience.

I am back making to-do-lists every morning. It hardly takes 5-10 minutes. My tea-time is now assigned for this task.

Result

It’s been a while since I am making a to-do list and it helps me optimize my time and effort throughout the day. It helps me get a clear picture on what all is pending and which ones need prioritization. And every time I tick off the finished tasks, it gives an indescribable boost to my morale and makes me start the new task afresh with renewed enthusiasm.

Why should you make a to-do-list every day?

Organization – The most important reasons for keeping a to-do list is the organization. Organizing your tasks with a list can make everything much more manageable and make you feel grounded. Seeing a clear outline of your completed and uncompleted tasks helps you feel organized and stay mentally focused. Keeping a to-do list will allow you to effortlessly keep track of everything that you need to finish.

Productivity – A to-do-list helps you review it from time-to-time and prioritize the most important tasks. Why should one waste time on trivial activities when there are important tasks that need our attention? Thus it definitely helps in improving our productivity and our sense of managing our time effectively.

Improved Memory – Writing or making notes has been my way of learning. Nobody is capable of remembering everything at all times. Reading a lesson and then writing down the notes in my own words helped me understand the chapter well and remember it too. The written words acted like flash cards in my memory. It stayed there like a picture. Every time you look at your to-do list, you will never lose anything that you have recorded on it.

Morale Booster – To-do lists help clarify your goals for the day. Listing the steps that you intend to take to attain a goal can help clarify your thoughts and give you achievable short-term tasks. As you tick off each of the finished tasks, you’ll gain more confidence and will be motivated to do more.

Stress-Relief – The one most important point is how to-do lists make your life simpler and less cluttered. Thus making you stress free or at least reduce your stress to a large extent. It has worked magically for me and thus I recommend it to everyone. Try it out for yourself.

How do you plan your day? Are you a list person? Or do you just go with the flow?


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