1. Make your to-do list at the end of the day

At the end of the day, you remember all the things you didn’t get done and all the things you really want/have to do. There are no more hours in the day and you’re exhausted. I know that feeling. That’s when the stress comes. Don’t worry, that’s what to-do lists are for! The moment you feel you have TOO MANY THINGS going on, start writing them down.

2. Separate your work to-do list and your personal to-do list

One of the common pitfalls of productivity is to make a to-do list that’s just too big. It’s harder to see everything you need to do, harder to compartmentalize, and at the end of the day you will likely only have completed 10-20% of the list, which leaves you feeling like a big fat failure! Instead, try making two or three smaller lists. This helps you more easily see what you need to do, and gives you a sense of success when you finish a bigger percentage of your tasks. When you finish the day a winner, you’ll get addicted and continue to win the next day’s battles!

3. Be realistic!

Don’t go crazy and start writing down every single thing you want to do in life. A to-do list is not a bucket list. Every time you think of something you want to add to your to-do list ask yourself, “can I get this done by the end of the week?” If the answer is no, don’t write it on your list! If you’re not going to be able to accomplish that task within maximum a week, that should go to your calendar or a longer term list. The to-do list should be simple.

4. Don’t prioritize your tasks with numbers

I used to work for an advertising agency in Spain and as you probably already know, advertising agencies can get crazy sometimes. I would often end up with an unrealistic to-do list of things that I had to get done for that month, so I would set up a meeting with my boss to try to help prioritize things. When I got out of that meeting I still had the same list but with a bunch of numbers on it. And guess what, about 10 things from that list where number 1 priority! Numbers in a to-do list can make you get stuck in one task that you maybe can’t resolve at that moment while you could be completing others instead. If you’ve been following the previous advice, all of the tasks that are now in your to-do list should be high priority anyways, so why number them? Just start getting things done one by one!

5. The vertical format is the best option

Now that we know how to make our to-do-list, let’s focus on the best format to use. Maybe it sounds unnecessary but where you write things can change everything.
If you write your to-do list on a loose piece of paper, you’re probably going to end up losing it. If you write it in one of your notebooks, you’re probably going to forget to look at it because a notebook is not something that we have open and in sight. The best option is to get a vertical notepad with no cover, so it’s always open. Then you can tear off the first page and start again as if you had a new notepad. This way you’ll have your to-do list in front of you all the time open and ready for you to write something down or to look at it.