By keeping such a checklist, you make sure that your tasks are written down all in one place so you do not forget anything important. And by prioritizing tasks, you plan the order in which you’ll do them, so that you can tell what needs your immediate attention, and what you can leave until later.
You may find it easier to compile several checklists (covering personal, study, and workplace, for example). Try different approaches and use the best for your own situation.
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?
To use your checklist, simply work your way through it in order, dealing with the A priority tasks first, then the Bs, then the Cs, and so on. As you complete tasks, tick them off or strike them through.