5/4/2010: To-Do List
So you’ve done your brain dump and gotten all of those tasks cluttering your mind down on paper. What’s next? How do you organize everything you have to do on paper? Is it even possible?

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It IS possible! And will reduce your stress level and maybe even increase your free time! Continuing from the previous post (“The first steps for creating your to do list“), here are steps 4-6 for forming your To-Do list:

4. For each item, ask yourself these questions:
a. Is this a valuable use of my time? (If not, delegate it or take it off the list)
b. How long will it take to complete? (We underestimate, so double that!)
c. When is it due?
d. Does it involve others to complete?

5. Review the list again and prioritize it in some method; this is the most important step. Prioritizing each item will ensure that you are completing the most important and most beneficial tasks. It does not matter what system or process that you use to prioritize, just use one.
a. A, B, C, D
b. Highly Important, Important, Unimportant at this time, Someday
c. I personally use the due date as my guide
i. Today
ii. This week
iii. This month
iv. Someday

6. Now make two lists, one with the first two categories and one with the last two categories. Place the second list somewhere so you can review next week to move items needed to the current list. Having items on a list that cannot be done now just adds to our frustration over everything we have to do. This will make your list more manageable and allow you to concentrate on the most important items.