Back in the 90s, preparing timetable, drawing lines to make columns was so artistic. To do list has been a vital part of my life since my school days. I liked maintaining the tasks I did in my day to day life. An efficient to do list is one of the keys to success.
In some way or the other, each one of us knowingly or unknowingly follows our parents. I’ve seen my father writing down his to-do list on tiny papers. He used to search for these square-shaped mini bundle of papers in the stationery shop and buy them. One day he did not find that bundle which he always bought.
He was restless as his tiny papers weren’t there. He wrote his to-do list on normal notebook pages but somehow I did not see the satisfaction on his face.
Upon asking he said, “I liked those square-shaped papers”, with a sigh.
To see the same old excitement on his face while he made his to-do list, I took some plain white papers and cut them just as he liked them to be.
He was delighted to have them back. The same old smile was back on his face.
That very day, I was curious to know the reason behind this unusual habit of his. Only after practising this routine of his, I understood the importance of to do list.
Though there are numerous apps available on our smartphones, let’s experience the beauty of making a daily to-do list without using a phone.
So here are 5 steps to make a better to do list without using your phone:
- Set up a goal – Long term/Short term
A goal can be a short term or long term. Both need a thoughtfully chalked out plan. And every plan contains a long or short list of tasks.
So the very first step of writing a to-do list is to have a long/short term definite goal in mind and then jot down the tasks needed to achieve that goal.
- Choose a book/diary you like
When my father prepared his to-do list, he made sure he writes on those square-shaped tiny papers. He kept himself consistent while he did so.
Once the list was made, he would glance at it now and then throughout the day. This would motivate him to go ahead and tick the tasks which were completed. Actually fetching a pen and ticking the task from the to-do list gave him a sense of pure satisfaction.
His smiled reflected the same.
Similarly, pick up a book or a diary or anything you’d prefer (but a hardcopy) to prepare your to-do list. Keep it with you. Every now and then glance at the bulleted points. You’d feel the sense of emergency and you’ll work your ass out to tick those tasks on your list.
Choosing a book or diary of your choice is a trick in itself. It helps you get back to your to-do list now and then.
3.Tear it off once done
A strange thing my father did once all the tasks in his to-do list were complete was he tore the paper and threw it in the dustbin. When asked he says, “No paper with me symbolizes that there’s no pending work at all.”
This step can be completely optional. If you wish to keep the ticked list as it is, you can always do that. If not, then you can tear off the list and start afresh with a new list next morning.
In this way, you’ll be starting a new day with a clean slate and a new ray of hopes.
4.Managing un-ticked tasks
What if you could not tick all the tasks on the list! You always have a ‘second chance’ called ‘tomorrow’. Pull up your socks and grab this opportunity.
Re-write the previous day’s incomplete tasks first, followed by the current day’s. Highlight them with a highlighter or underline them to know that they fall in the most urgent category.
Once you feel the urgency, you’ll definitely learn to quicken your pace and get your task done.
- Why paperwork in the world of smartphones?
In this world of technology, sometimes we need to choose between the traditional and modern techniques. Preferring paper over apps pushes you to actually do it.
Even the popular Youtuber mostly sane being so busy with her constant tours, hectic shoots always prefers to jot down the tasks in her diary just to feel the satisfaction of ticking out the tasks when it’s completed.
The whole idea of taking a glance at your to-do list is to remind that the items in the list need to be ticked off. Though the ticking can now be done on the mobile phone too, the satisfaction level can be a little less.
I’m sure the paperwork will be all worth it at the end of the day. As back in school we learned to write down answers to remember them, now let’s write down our day to day goals and achieve them on daily basis.
This method will also help you to overcome your habit of procrastination if any.
Do try out this traditional yet creative method of making your to-do list and feel the bliss of it.