Although using a paper checklist is an easy way to get started, software-based approaches can be more efficient in spite of the learning curve. These can remind you of events or tasks that will soon be overdue, they can also be synchronized with your phone or email, and they can be shared with others on your team, if you’re collaborating on a project.
With this checklist, you can write out your goals and dreams. Figure out where you are right now in terms of achieving those goals and what you need to do to get to them. One of your first steps toward your goals might be asking someone else what they think you need to do – there are a lot of experts on campus to talk to!
But in you’re in an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to focus on a longer-term checklist, and "chip away" at it day-by-day. Many people find it helpful to spend, say, 10 minutes at the end of the day, organizing tasks on their list for the next day.
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?