Having a to-do list is a great idea—as long as you don’t let it deplete your energy and creativity because it’s unrealistic. Follow these tips for revamping your to-do list so it doesn’t drive you crazy:
• Combine separate lists into one list. If you keep one list at work and the other on the refrigerator at home, sooner or later something will fall through the cracks. Keep one notebook or calendar and nothing more. Keeping track of multiple notes or lists will wipe you out.
• Be realistic. Set your priorities, and be ready to let some items go. What is it that you absolutely have to accomplish? If you’re never going to do something that you continually write on your list, take it off. You’ll save energy and gain peace of mind from by being honest with yourself.
• Make a schedule. A to-do list without a schedule doesn’t give you much guidance. Estimate how much time each task will take, as well as how high a priority it is, and determine the best use of your time. If a three-hour task isn’t vital, don’t put it at No. 1.
• Leave room for emergencies. Don’t try to cram activity into every minute of your day. Build in sufficient time to deal with the interruptions that will undoubtedly occur.