To do lists shouldn’t take hours to set up, nor should they be complicated. Every second you spend setting up your task list and preparing for the work ahead is time wasted instead of getting out there and eliminating items from your schedule. You should be able to jot down your tasks, have just enough flexibility to work how you need to, and then get on with it. After all, isn’t the point of a to do list to help improve your productivity?
Do you often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do, or do you find yourself missing deadlines? Or do you sometimes just forget to do something important, so that people have to chase you to get work done? All of these are symptoms of not keeping a proper "To-Do List."
Or, imagine you’re in a sales role and have a long list of people who you need to talk to. You write out a checklist of everyone you need to call and every client you need to see, and start prioritizing.
Write down all of the tasks that you need to complete on the checklist. If they’re large tasks, break out the first action step, and write this down with the larger task. (Ideally, tasks or action steps should take no longer than 1-2 hours to complete.)