With some trial and error, I have finally figured out how to get things checked off my to do list!
And I wanted to help others!
Living an organized life is important for success!
You can increase your productivity by using a planner, to do list, and any other form of tracking your productivity! If you haven’t started using a planner, you definitely should! Check out my guide all about Why You Should Have A Planner – and get started organizing your life today!
If you are struggling with getting things done, I created two different FREE PRINTABLES that you can print out and use as often as you need!
These are both great resources to track your plans for the day, and actually get things checked off your to do list!
Simply click, save, and print each time you need to!
One printable is your Daily Checklist. It includes a monthly calendar to fill out for each month, your top three priorities for the day, a timeline, as well as boxes to insert your own notes to remember.
The next printable is a simplified version of a daily checklist, your Daily To Do List. I have created three different sections for your Work To Dos, Home To Dos, as well as any Reminders you want to note.
Make sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #PlanWithLa!
Not going to lie, I have used a LOT of different systems in the past to try and stay productive. I ended up just creating something for myself that covered all the basics – and I wanted to share it with YOU!
I print off a few each week, and plan my days accordingly.
This is a system that actually works for me, and helps me get things checked off my to do list.
Here are some other things you can do in conjunction with my free printables that can help you ACTUALLY get things checked off YOUR to do list!
Reevaluate Your To Do List
Once you have created your to do list, I like to reevaluate it. My first round of planning typically includes me just listing out things I want to get done. Next I will go in and actually start to reevaluate my list and adjust accordingly.
I’m not necessarily reordering or reorganizing my list, but more looking over my tasks and seeing what actually needs to get done for the day. If you come across any tasks that are old, don’t apply to the day, or are just unneeded, simply remove them from your list!
Make sure you are keeping your to do list relevant and accurate. Looking at a list with 7 things that need to get done is much easier when compared to 15 that might need to get done.
Can someone else handle anything on your list better than you? I’m not talking about pawning off cleaning out the litter box on your spouse! I’m simply mentioning you can’t do everything all the time. If there is something on your list that you can delegate to others, you should think about that too!
Today’s Top 3
If you are unfamiliar with the Daily Top 3, you can learn more about it here! Essentially this is the Top 3 things that HAVE to get done for the day.
Look over your list and find the three most important things you want to accomplish for the day. These might have smaller lists of things that need to be finished to complete one task – note those things too! If you have one task that has multiple parts, it might make sense to list each part as your Top 3 things.
What’s great about planning is that you can change up any planning platform to fit your exact needs. When she uses my printable, my mom’s Top 3 things are dedicated to her three kids. It’s whatever works best for you!
Remember that I am not saying that these are the only things you need to get done for the day. If you have multiple things to get done, simply add them to an additional list. Once you have completed your Top 3, then you can move on to your additional tasks.
Checking things off of your to do list is simple when you focus on your Top 3. And guess what, if you only manage to accomplish those three things, you are doing GOOD! You are still getting three things checked off your to do list!
Break Down Tasks
A great way to get things checked off of your to do list is by breaking down bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks.
I kind of mentioned it above when I mentioned your Top 3, but I also included them in the free printable! In fact, I created two different options!
Daily Checklist Printable Breakdown:
- Get Done Today: These are additional tasks, aside from the Top 3, that you want to get accomplished by the end of the day. For some this might be the same things that are listed in their Top 3. For me, I use this section as a way to add additional tasks that are almost as important as my Top 3. I typically like to accomplish these first.
- If I Have Time: These will be things you ideally want to accomplish for the day, if you have time. You can put additional tasks like I previously mentioned today. If by chance these things don’t get done, you can simply migrate those tasks to tomorrow’s to do list!
- Do Tomorrow: Pretty self explanatory! I like to include this section because there are some instances where, if I have time, I’d like to get them done on the same day. However, they are typically not time constrained, and if they end up not getting done, I simply do them tomorrow!
Daily To Do List Printable
- Work To Dos: Monday-Friday I like to write down all of my work to dos so I know what needs to get accomplished for the day.
- Home To Dos: Same with your work to dos, this is where you will list any tasks you want to get done at home for the day. I like to put laundry, cleaning the litter boxes, unloading the dishwasher, etc.
- Reminder: Any additional tasks or reminders for the next day go here. There may be things that don’t typically fit into either of the above categories, so I like to add them here. But again, use however you need to!
Whether you like to break down your tasks by level of importance or by sections of your day, both printables are a great way to track your to dos.
You don’t have to use the printables either! A simple paper and pen kind of to do list can accomplish the same thing! (mine are just pretty)
Just as long as you find something that helps you get things checked off your to do list!
2 Minute Rule
Next I like to look at my to do list and see if there are any tasks that I can complete in 2 minutes or less. I like to highlight any of these short tasks that I come across.
Sometimes my schedule is a little over packed in the mornings. So if this is the case, highlighting them can show you what you can do if you have some free time. Getting these 2 minute tasks done as soon as possible is my goal. Working with what you have is the only option though, sometimes.
I talk more about this in my post all about Getting the Most Out of Your Planner – check it out to learn more!
Scheduling Your Tasks
It may be helpful to see your tasks laid out in a schedule or timeline manner. I personally like to see my day lined out in this type of format. It gives me a visual outline of my day.
While this isn’t necessary for all of your tasks, it’s ideal for the bigger ones that have to get done. Or what you want to get done, by a certain time.
Checking things off of your to do list is easy when you schedule your tasks. You’re also able to stay on top of any deadlines or tasks with scheduling. It’s also great if you are coordinating your plans with other people! This way you can block out time and see your availability all in one place.
For example: You know your daughter has cheerleading practice at 5 PM – 6 PM each day. You can fill that in on your timeline for every day she has it. That way you know you can’t schedule additional things during then.
Printable Tip: When using my printables, I like to predate a few in advance. Then if any meetings or important phone calls come up to be scheduled, I simply flip to that date and fill it in on my timeline.
Then when it gets to that day and I start scheduling the rest of it, I can see that at certain times I have a prior commitment.
I like to schedule my day out by hours (see on my printable). That is what works best for me!
Some planners out there get as specific as every 15 or 30 minutes. Other planners may break your day into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening.
I created my printable with timelines every hour starting from 8 AM to 11 PM. I’m able to limit my planning by finding a happy medium between those two examples. I refuse to schedule anything earlier than 7 AM, because it’s just not realistic that I’ll be up by then.
When you schedule your to do lists, figure out what works best for you! Figuring out what works best for you makes it so much easier to get things checked off your to do list.
If you find yourself having a hard time sticking to time constraints when completing tasks, try timing yourself. You may find it silly to set a timer on your phone… But it’s a good way to gauge how long you are spending on each task.
When you start timing yourself, make sure you give a realistic time frame for each of your tasks. For example I like to set myself a 30 minute timer each morning. During this time I can check my facebook, read the news, whatever! After that time is up, I move on to the next thing on my list.
It’s also a great way to know when you’ve been working too long on something. Yes it is possible to spend entirely too long on one task! It can cause you to neglect focusing on other tasks. This is where you will have to watch yourself slipping into the trap of multitasking.
Multitasking can actually be damaging to your productivity. If you want to read more about it, feel free to read all about How Multitasking is Killing Your Productivity. Workplace productivity is important to many readers which is why I’ve included some helpful tips on that as well.
Make sure when you are timing yourself to get rid of any distractions, which can cause you to get side tracked. After your timer has gone off, make sure to take a small break and treat yourself! Getting overwhelmed can happen easily which is why you should always pace yourself.
Let me say that again. You should always pace yourself. Got it?
Read more about meaningless distractions and turning those distractions off!
Well, that’s it! Get out there and start checking off items on that to-do list!
+ I hope you like the printables!