What is it that separates most people who achieve their goals faster and more easily from those who don’t? One can come up with a long list of factors however, don’t let a simple to-do list stop you from crossing that line. Studies have shown that when we commit tasks to paper, or in writing, we are more likely to achieve our goals. If you actually want to get the most out of your preparation time, ditch the old ways, and create a focussed environment. Desperate times call for expert measures. Some of these expert-backed approaches will allow you to easily cope with your deadlines.
The purpose of making a solid to-do list is to dump all your spinning thoughts, every tiny task taking up space in your head- in one place. It can difficult in college so set up a to-do list and relax your mind from the anxiety of forgetting it. By pairing a solid calendar system with a fabulous to-do list system, you’ll shine as one powerhouse of productivity! Let’s get started.
An incredible College to-do list system helps in
Your complex brain can handle only a few (only one, sometimes) thoughts at a time. It’s a supercomputer but it has limited processing power. If you’re struggling to keep it in mind & tussling hard to find ways to optimize your work productivity, you’re using up a lot of strength that’s not adding to your studies and work. Have you ever read your course material and realized that you can’t recall the two last paragraphs? Your brain just wanders about in every direction? You started thinking about everything else and your brain has now traveled to a grocery store instead of your textbook? Trying to push your brain to concentrate on the textbook and ignoring other intrusive thoughts gets really hard.
The first & foremost rule of to-do lists is to have only one system. Multiple systems create clutter.
This system may look like-
Obligations that take hours to complete appear on a typical to-do list alongside activities that last just a few minutes. It can be hard to tell them apart without using time-blocking. Time-blocking assigns individual tasks to manageable slots of time & helpsschedule your work more effectively and in detail. So instead of writing it down on your plate for the day and hoping that you will have enough time to handle it all, you can assign time to each task. This strategy helps you to set practical goals for yourself, one task at a time.
Inherently the to-do lists are constructive. In writing down something, you are betting you’re going to have the time and resources to make it happen. Yet occasionally, life gets in the way of your fine-tuned plans. Another tactic to set realistic goals without selling yourself short is to make two lists: one for high-energy days, and the other for days when you’re struggling to roll off the bed. For example, an entry on the first list might read, “If I have a lot of energy then I’ll complete this assignment”. The second list would include more boring activities, such as piling up your books, organizing your desk, or even setting aside time for a power nap.
President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “I have two kinds of issues, the urgent and the essential. Most things that are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.” Someone found a way to turn this maddening assertion into a very effective method of prioritization. This splits into four sections by plugging the to-do list into an Eisenhower Matrix. The first box is to be addressed immediately, filled with things that are both urgent and significant. The second set can be scheduled for a later date, which is deemed essential but not urgent. Where appropriate, activities deemed urgent but not important may be assigned to others, and entries that are neither urgent nor important should be crossed off the list entirely!
When writing to-do lists, many people use their own special shorthand — which is fine so long as they can decipher it hours later. If you’ve ever had trouble decoding notes that you’re writing to yourself, consider doodling quick images to get the message across. One research showed that if we draw pictures of them instead of writing them down, words are more likely to remain in our minds because of the image. It is likely that drawing takes up more mental facilities than language alone (visualization, interpretation, motor skills). So creating a visual to-do list not only helps you memorize tasks but also forces you to think about them later, in advance.
Instead of grouping entries according to time or urgency, a one-three-five list discusses the scale of the tasks at hand. Start by defining the day’s largest job — that goes in slot number one. From there, select three smaller but still important tasks to complete your list halfway through. Finish it off with five tiny things that you’ll be able to easily take care of. Planning ahead like this also ensures that you will be able to have more detailed discussions with your professor when he or she drops something new on you which needs to be addressed immediately. And although sticking with what’s on the list every day might not be practical, it doesn’t hurt to have it as a guideline.
Start with a board. It can be a screen on your computer, a Post-its covered whiteboard, College Schedule Maker with its schedule builder, or a few columns of index cards on your desk. The key thing to note is that any work that you write down does not remain in the same place/ stage for a long time. After completing the three columns-” To-Do”, “Doing”, and “Done”-jump into the items in your” Doing “section. Any items you complete should be relocated to the “Done” column and any items you start from the “To-Do” section should be relocated to the “Doing” column. Ideally, the board should be located in an easy-to-look spot throughout the day. This helps you visualize your progress and keep you aware of your workings.
The last and most critical aspect of handling a to-do list is to revisit and update the list periodically. Which you don’t have to do every day or even every month. We think a quarterly schedule would really work fine for you.
You need to go through and re-evaluate your list of to-dos and objectives. Just because you’re thinking about doing something, it doesn’t mean you ought to do it. Doing that just doesn’t fit your current priorities may even be a really good thing. It’s Cool to say goodbye to the idea or just have a list of “someday” ideas — things you’re planning to do one day but don’t commit to now.
This is particularly important for students at the college. With school, work, family, etc., you get pulled in so many directions. You have to be very specific about your expectations and how those goals fit into them.
You might even want to keep a list of “someday goals” where you are putting things that you really want to do in your life, but are not a priority right now. Things like learning to play guitar or marathon training can be very important life goals but are they practical when working towards your college degree as well?
If you are unable to manage your regular study and other long-term goals together, then know that you have to make a choice. You might have to leave something to gain some other thing.