Tips for Managing Your To-Do List

todoTo-do lists can be a writer’s best friend. Making lists not only helps you figure out everything you really need to get done, but also provides a sense of satisfaction as you check off finished items.

On the other hand, the humble to-do list can also become a driving force that dictates everything you work on—if they’re not managed well, you can end up constantly working in reactive mode instead of gaining steady ground on your mountain of work.

How to-do lists evolve into taskmasters

It’s natural to group tasks on a to-do list according to urgency. In fact, one of the most popular ways to categorize to-do lists uses the “four quadrants” defined by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. These quadrants create groups of tasks that are:

  1. Important AND urgent
  2. Important but NOT urgent
  3. Unimportant BUT urgent
  4. Neither urgent nor important

Most people assume that tasks under the first group, important AND urgent, should be tackled first. But Covey has stated that the second group—important but NOT urgent—should actually be a higher priority.

Why? When you’re focused on doing nothing but important, urgent tasks, you’re constantly in putting-out-fires mode. You only handle things when they absolutely have to be done, and as a result you fall behind on larger projects that have long lead times.

For a freelance writer, working on the most important and urgent tasks often means putting off that huge 10,000-word assignment that’s due in three weeks, because you have plenty of time and more urgent things to do—only to suddenly find yourself with just three days to write 10,000 words.

How to change your lists and master your tasks

If your to-do lists have gone from inspiring to daunting, a shift in your priorities can help you work more efficiently, stop procrastinating, and get out of rush mode more often. Here are some tips to help you tame a runaway to-do list:

  • Break it down: This is an elementary to-do list step, but many writers still skip it. If you have a big project, don’t write it down as “finish a 10,000-word ebook”. Instead, list smaller tasks such as “research ebook, write ebook outline, write 2 ebook chapters,” and so on, spacing the tasks out until the deadline.
  • Use a “WANT to do” list: Add a category of tasks you want to get done today to your lists. You’ll feel more motivated to get to them, and more confident when you check these items off.
  • Keep the “MUST” list short: If your to-do list has ten items under the “do this today OR ELSE” category, you’ll end up feeling demoralized and overwhelmed. Consider your musts carefully, and decide which 2 or 3 things really have to be done today—and which ones can be moved.
  • Make a “quick tasks” category: Add a list of things you can complete in 5 minutes or less, and tackle those tasks when you have a break—such as between phone calls, or in the middle of a larger assignment. Your lists will start showing more accomplishments, and you’ll feel like you’re making progress.
  • Consider outsourcing your optional tasks: If you have a list of things that would be nice to get done, but they aren’t important or urgent, think about outsourcing. There are inexpensive sources for overflow tasks, such as eLance and Fiverr—and if you have teenagers at home, they’d probably be interested in earning some extra cash.
  • Emulate the experts. Check out these 6 things successful freelance writers do every day.

With a few simple changes, your to-do list can be more manageable than ever. How do you tame your to-do list?



Comment

   Cori Mota

napoleon hill education

http://www.4p5YkVzU14.com/4p5YkVzU14

   Madelaine Trivette

india to america courier

http://www.6JDXtzaFzj.com/6JDXtzaFzj

   Salvatore Mcfield
   Janette Ciesiolka
   Augustine Lyttle

Hi there, I came upon wordsbymelissa.com while researching a a similar subject in the search engines. It seems to be a good read; I’ve bookmarked it in my Bing favorites.

http://princess-halation.tumblr.com

   Charis Heuangvilay

kitchen worktops direct

http://www.oqXT6sc93r.com/oqXT6sc93r

   Felicita Blackson
   Zina Venturini
   Russell Guevana

submit a press release

http://www.G6rVq3wk9B.com/G6rVq3wk9B

   Delena Afalava
   Live gay sex cams

Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

http://www.gaysexreports.com/hot-gay-porno.asp

   Sherilyn Steagell

Hey, would you mind if I share your blog site with my Twitter supporters? There’s a great deal of folks that I think would appreciate your written content. Please let me know. Thank you.

http://url.moneys-gold.ru/tonsilstonescauses98455

   turquoise hats for weddings

I enjoy, result in I discovered just what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

http://pinkfascinator.com/spruce-up-your-look-with-turquoise-fascinators/

   kjope cialis pa nett

kjop cialis pa nett http://no.pharmshop.website/cialis/ cialis uten resept

   Son Levitsky
   Timothy Kaucher

Thanks for this tremendous post, I am glad I discovered this site on yahoo.TubeSync

http://tubesync.net

   Ezekiel Sessler

There are some fascinating closing dates in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicelyEBestWebHost

https://ebestwebhost.com

   boat shoes

I love reading through via an write-up that can make guys and females consider. Also, thanks for enabling for me to comment!

https://wirisi.com/shoes/women/flats-casual/flats-peas-shoes-160926001.html

   Selena Allis
   Philly

Love you site.

https://goo.gl/Xa89PY

   Meryl Batalla
   Jon Schielke
   shoe buy com shoes

Colour and the fashion of footwear are of equivalent importance because they make your looks total.|You can conserve money and include to your shoe assortment without even leaving your house.

https://wirisi.com/pumps-heels-161016002.html

   ladies shoes on sale

It is extremely essential to learn how to negotiate with your clients.|The solutions will direct you various hosting choices. Registration is needed to verify your identity. When you shop on-line, you have a a lot wider choice to choose from and an limitless quantity of stores to choose from.|The same 10 hyperlinks are outlined, but they are icons rather of just hyperlinks. Jpearls offers the best variety in pearl sets for various events. If you want to have it, go for some online shopping website.|It is said to give up to 7 hrs of speak time or about 28 hours of songs playback time. You can effortlessly drown yourself amongst all this information if you don’t take it 1 stage at a time.|Am I going to have numerous photos or videos on the website? Particularly following a flip-around and long-haul flight extremely early in the early morning or late at night. If they have live support get on and hearth away.|Some men prefer to put on tailor produced suit whilst relaxation 1 go for designer fit. You can negotiate with the proprietors and just divide the profit once the product is sold. Are you searching for a gift for somebody special?|Always study the terms of service and their Privateness Assertion. But don’t use them without the suggestion of physicians. It is advisable that you purchase these coupon codes from affiliated websites.|Just wearing garments won’t do, sporting correct accessories are also important at the same time. Tickets, travel and book selling contributes a significant portion of eBay transactions.Click mens cheap shoes online to know more information.

https://wirisi.com/boots-shoes-161105001.html

   shoes online store

RIM’s new Blackberry curve 9220, attractively priced at Rs 10,990 is particularly targeted at the kids in India.|But again, this is long term and you will not be able to alter it as soon as set.

https://wirisi.com/boots-heels-160920001.html

   clothes online shop

{Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t going hungry, but things are not great at the moment.

https://wirisi.com/heels-sandals-160921004.html

   Lilliana Scheele

Useful info. Fortunate me I found your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this accident did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

http://sl.3agel.net/ampalorida40565

   Claretta Killius

I will immediately grab your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

http://www.v-diagram.com/37006

   Chet Petricone

Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

http://to.ht/entalmplantervices18051

   Celesta Veasey

I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

http://tinyurl.com/j29ckaf

   Kevin Zettel

Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. With thanks!

http://www.etvtelugu.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=leeescoott.tumblr.com2Flikes

   Jadwiga Monica

The very heart of your writing while appearing agreeable initially, did not sit perfectly with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I however have a problem with your leaps in logic and you might do well to help fill in those gaps. In the event you actually can accomplish that, I could certainly end up being impressed.

http://www.communitywalk.com/user/view/2659420

   Keven Schellman

I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

http://tinyurl.com/y9qyqbbb

   coffee percolater

Thank you, I’ve just been looking for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain about the supply?

http://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/awful-water-great-coffee/

   xnxx busty milfs

thanks fcor the info

http://snapmilfs.com

   Appliances Small business

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to seek out anyone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with slightly originality. useful job for bringing something new to the web!

http://www.aungkur.org/index.php/component/k2/item/23-minim-veniam-quis-nostrud-exerci-tation-ullamcorper-suscipit/23-minim-veniam-quis-nostrud-exerci-tation-ullamcorper-suscipit

   Carrol

celebrity slim diet or slim fast

http://www.talkaboutweight.com/

* Name

* Email (will not be published)


*

* Comment