Blogging Lifestyle Motivation

How to Write an Effective To-Do List that You Will Actually Accomplish + Free To-Do List Printable

to do list

Hands up if you are an obsessive to-do list writer?

I know I am not the only one.

I love writing down things I need to get done and checking them off as I go. Not only does it make it easier for me to remember what I need to get done, it is a great motivator when I tick them off. I’m like “Yaaaaaaaas, I am 11/10 productive today! What do I have to do next?”. It’s not always sunshine and roses though. There have been many times where I’ve found that I wrote my to-do list but haven’t ticked off majority of my tasks.

So how do you write an effective to-do list that you will actually accomplish?

1. Start small

Every morning I have my to-do list ready to get myself organised and ready to seize the day. I find it more effective if I start off with small and easy tasks rather than large and hard tasks. Think about it as a race. Start off at a slow and steady pace and once you’re in the cycle, go all out.

I usually start off with simple tasks such as ‘make breakfast’ (sometimes I forget to eat), ‘respond to emails and blog comments’ or ‘brainstorm blog topic ideas’. By ticking off simple tasks, I find myself in the mood to be productive. Then I will ease into the more important and time consuming tasks I have to do like ‘write x post’ or ‘complete taxes’. By now, I would have the urge to accomplish the tasks I have for the day.

2. Don’t overdo it

Imagine having a list of 50 things to accomplish for the day. If you ask me, I would look at it and want to hide under the covers. Having an exhausting to-do list can be demotivating because there is so much on your plate to do with so little time.

Keep your to-do list manageable. I usually keep mine to 10-15 things to accomplish (including the little tasks like making breakfast and feeding the rabbits).

3. Make it pretty

Ever since I was in school, I loved having pretty stationery. My favourite time of year was back-to-school time when you go stationery shopping for new supplies. Having pretty stationery makes me motivated to work and imagine what having a pretty to-do list will do? It will motivate you to write your tasks down and accomplish them!

I have designed a free to-do list printable that you can use as your daily checklist. I have been using this daily and it seriously keeps me on track. Don’t forget to download my free to-do list printable to help you start accomplishing your daily tasks! You can download it here.

Effective To Do List Printable

To encourage you to accomplish your to-do list, I have put together a list of 15 things you can do to boost your motivation. 15 ways to get motivated when you’re not feeling it. Read it here.

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  • Annchovie

    I totally agree with “Make it Pretty.” When I have pretty calendars and notebooks, it motivates me to use them more when I’m scheduling my tasks!
    XOXO
    Annie

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yes! I’m addicted to pretty stationery (I especially LOVE Kikki.K – my stationery paradise!) xo

  • Gillian Gilla Seetso

    I suck at to do list so this will make it much more fun and exciting to make my list.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m so glad this post helps you! Good luck!

  • celine navarro

    thank you so much for your post!!! and even more for the freebie : love it!
    céline

    http://www.celinenavarro.com

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad you like it! Enjoy the freebie 🙂

  • I absolutely LOVE making to do lists… Sometimes even more than actually doing everything on them. (I know, I know, that probably sounds horrible) I love the idea of make it pretty. I buy beautiful notebooks just to write in them!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yes yes yes! I admit, sometimes I don’t complete everything but it’s the thought that counts, right? Making lists makes me feel more grounded, and also an excuse to buy all the pretty notebooks!

  • Great tips for writing to do lists. I definitely agree with you on the third tip! I love buying pretty planners and nice pens to make writing to do lists more fun!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Agreed! I am addicted to pretty planners, pens, notebooks! It motivates me to be organised and productive!

  • Kalaw Sarah

    These are great tips. I always have a to-do list too.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad you like these tips!

  • These are such great tips, I LOVE to-do lists so this post is right up my alley. The printable is such a fun touch, it’s gorgeous!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you so much, Kasie! I am so glad you enjoyed this post!