7 To-Do List Tips That Will Change Your Life

To-Do Lists are the only thing keeping me sane throughout crazy semesters full of nightly reading, papers, tests, and projects. Now that I’m going on my fourth year as a college undergraduate student, I’ve learned what things make a To-Do List helpful rather than a list that can actually be a hindrance to progress.

Create A Cocky Over Confidant To-Do List

Do not place the same limitations you place on yourself on your To-Do list.  Your To-Do List needs to believe anything is possible. Which means you need to create a cocky over confidant To Do list. In other words, while you may not believe that you can go on a date with the pretty girl from class, your To-Do list sure thinks you can. There is a place for being realistic and your To-Do List is not one of them.

Ideas for your To-Do List

  • Save $1,000 before New Years
  • Make Dean’s List
  • Do a front flip
  • Ace the GRE
  • Ask her/him to coffee

Categorize Your To-Do List

There are groceries you need to get by today, assignments you need to do this week and goals you want to achieve by the end of the semester. All of the aforementioned belong on your To Do List. Which means you have to Organize, Organize, Organize. Create areas of your list that are for personal development and others for school. Remember it is your list and you can make it as simple or as complex as you want. As long as it is neat and it works for you.

Note: Consider making  a separate “Future To-Do List” to keep your lists uncluttered and streamlined.

Break Down Big Items

It’s pretty pointless to write “Do Big Project” on your To-Do List. Obviously you need to do it; the question is how. Avoid vague items on your list. Instead, think about what exactly you need to do for this big project to get done.

  1. Sabrina (703-###-####), sabrina@email.edu
  2. Gabriel (202-###-####), gabe@email.edu

Note: Use specific action verbs so that your big tasks are more manageable and you’ll actually be able to accomplish them, one step at a time.

Don’t Use Post-It Stickers!

OK, if you really want to use Post-It Stickers then so be it but make sure that you have considered all your options.

There are apps like Remember The Milk and Wunderlist that make To-Do Lists both mobile, saveable, and green. So before you decide to stick to your old ways consider something new.

Use It

Checking your To-Do List often really helps you stay on top of your goals. If something no longer is relevant to you know that you can always remove it. Rehashing your To-Do List every once in awhile is a good way to gauge your productivity and progress.

Be Specific

Be as specific as possible when breaking down bigger items. Make sure you’re including all of the information you can on your list. If you need to go to the library, what are the call numbers of the books? If you need to call the pharmacy, what’s their number? Your To-Do List is a tool that you design to help you navigate your life, so make sure it works.

Do Over Do It!

Being productive is awesome. However, there are only so many hours in a day. Over-stressing yourself with a huge To-Do list isn’t going to get you anywhere. Challenging yourself to get stuff done is good, so try to fill up the Post-It!


What do you think makes a better to-do list? Let us know in the comments!

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