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To-do lists are excellent productivity tools that can help us stay on track with our goals. However, there are a few things you want to avoid when it comes to to-do lists. Here are five common to-do list mistakes I have seen – and have made myself!
Psst! You can find (and instantly download and print out) pretty & productive to-do list printables from this post: To-Do List Template – 29 Cute & Free Printable To-Do Lists
Before you head to your to-do list and start checking off tasks, let’s look at some mistakes you might be making when creating and managing your to-do lists (I know I’m often guilty of mistakes #2 and #3… and sometimes #1).
5 To-Do List makes you might be making
It’s essential to keep your ‘to-do’ list from getting the better of you, so here are five mistakes you want to avoid for a more easy-going & productive day.
1. Adding 2-minute tasks on your to-do list
A 2-minute task takes you just a few minutes to do, and while it might seem like a good idea to batch those 2-minute tasks together on your to-do list, they can quickly become overwhelming.
Instead, please take a few moments to do the task right away because you will have already finished it by the time you’ve written it on your list.
2. Overestimating your time
One of the most common mistakes in to-do lists is underestimating how long specific tasks will take.
I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing this lately. And every day, I feel like I’m not getting enough done when the reality is that I’m overestimating my time and underestimating how long the tasks will take.
To conquer this habit, you can use the Pomodoro Technique and give yourself a timeline to complete the task.
Or learn as you do the recurring tasks (like cleaning, daily work tasks, and other repetitive jobs) and adjust your time estimates accordingly the next time you do them.
I know I’ve been guilty of trying to do multiple things at once, and most of the time, it overwhelms me and wastes time and energy, and in the end, nothing gets finished.
So what I do instead is to consciously say to myself: I will focus on this task and only this task until it’s done.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest obstacles to productivity because it can lead to procrastination and overthinking.
So, instead of perfecting the one task at hand until it would be fit for a queen, decide what “good enough” looks like and then complete the task to that level.
Once you’ve reached “good enough,” it’s time to move on to the next task.
5. Using only one to-do list
Having everything in one place makes it easier to manage and prioritize, but having too many tasks on your list can be overwhelming.
Instead, divide your list into multiple lists according to categories such as chores to do, tasks for work, cleaning projects at home, etc.
Have a Master To-Do list where you can write everything down but then move them into separate lists, so it’s easier to focus on one category of tasks at a time.
Next steps – Grab cute & free printable To-do lists
So now that you know what NOT to do, it’s time to grab one of the pretty to-do lists I’ve created and start ticking off tasks.
You can find cute & free to-do list printables from this post: To-Do List Template – 29 Cute & Free Printable To-Do Lists