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Overwhelming To Do List? Here's How To Break it Down

We all have things we need to do and it's typical that these things then get added to the ever growing pile of things to do. Having a long to do list is great as everything is all in one place but wouldn't it be less daunting and overwhelming if this to do list was broken down into more manageable, smaller chunks? If this sounds like the strategy you need, then keep reading...

Dump List -

This is another word for your ever growing to do list that is the length of your arm (or longer)! Having this type of list is beneficial, as explained in the introduction as it allows you to be reassurance that everything you need to do is in one place. However, the trick you're missing when you've finished adding to your 'dump list' for the day is to section things out from this list and condense down into smaller lists. See the below tips on how to produce smaller to do lists:

MIT (Most Important Tasks) -

One list you can produce from your 'dump list' is a MIT list. Pick out the important tasks that need actioning that week and allocate them to days in the week. For example: you could have 10 important tasks you need to do during the week therefore breaking that down into 2 important tasks a day to complete. Having this type of list gives you the peace of mind that you have done the most pressing tasks along with working out your prioritises for the week.

Ivy Lee Method -

This method has been around for years and years, possible even a century! The meaning of this method is to write down 6 tasks the night before that you really need or want to get done and then mark them in terms of importance. You could incorporate the MIT list into this as well by having 2 important tasks as the priority and then having 4 smaller/less important tasks towards the end of your list. Having a to do list written the night before also makes you more productive in the morning as you have a clear idea of what your aim is for the day.

Categorise Your Lists -

Based off your 'dump list', you can section out each task into specific categories in order to make your lists more specific and visual to each area of your life. Some examples of categorised lists could be: personal, work, finance, goals, hobbies, fitness etc. Having a dedicated notebook where you can refer back to these to do lists and keep adding/scratching off tasks is so helpful!

1-3-9 Method -

This method links to the above methods already mentioned but essentially, the meaning of this to do list is to work on your top priority task first and then the following 3 tasks you have noted down and then completing your final 9 tasks. So you have altogether 13 tasks to complete in a day whether they are small like: walking the dogs or large like: signing a important contract.

Layout -

Having a clear and concise layout of your to-do lists is really helpful and makes your tasks a little more visual. Some ways you can do this are leaving a line gap in-between each task so you can visually see the individual tasks rather than a clump of writing. Another thing you can do as well is to draw boxes next to your tasks and then you can satisfyingly tick each thing off once you've completed it! Or use a colour highlighter to create a pretty page once all tasks are complete

I hope these tips have given you some inspiration and some good methods in breaking down your to do list. Let me know in the comments if you decide to give these tips a go and if you have found them effective. Or if you have any methods you're using that haven't been mentioned then share the love and let us know your tips so we can give them a go too!

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