4 Keys to an Effective To Do List

To do lists can be scary.

Wait a minute, did an ADHD Coach just admit that To Do lists are scary?  Why, yes I did just go there.  There are many reasons why people with ADHD may want to avoid making a to do list.  I don’t need to bore you with those reasons…  you already know them.  What I want to do today is to share 4 keys for creating effective to lists with the goal of making it a less scary process.

#1 – Create It

In order to have an effective to do list, you need to take that first step of creating the list.  Depending on your style and preferences, there are many different ways to create the to do list.  If you struggle with creating your to do list, try one of these unique ways to capture your to dos.

  • Hands On Learners:  Use flip chart paper to capture all of your current to dos.  The big movement might get your ideas flowing.  Post it on the wall of your cubicle or office.
  • Mind Mappers:  Use a mind map to capture all of the to dos that are in your mind.  A good free one is www.xmind.net.
  • Want to keep it simple?  Write everything down in a spiral notebook or composition book.  Use a post-it note to mark your page.
  • On-line Accessibility:  Workflowy is a lice, simple list making tool.  Since it is web-based, you can access it anywhere.
  • Your Planner:  If you already use a planner, this is a perfect place to capture your to dos.  If you aren’t using a planner, get my free guide here:  Planner Guide

#2 Delete From It

After capturing your list, identify items you can delete from the list.  If you are afraid of forgetting something, start with just deleting one thing from your list.  Think about the time you will save!

#3 Prioritize Your List

Understanding your priorities is a big part of effective to do lists that I’ll be discussing over at ADDclasses.com on February 12, 2013.  When prioritizing, you may be tempted to prioritize the entire list before getting started. If you can do this, go for it.  If you are stuck at this point, go through your list and identify  3 – 4 top priorities.  Is it due today or tomorrow?  It’s a priority.  Is it big and coming due soon?  Taking a step on this item is a priority.

#4 Start

Getting stuck on where and when to start working with your to do list is common with ADHD.  There are so many priorities where you can focus, it gets difficult to take step on on that first item.  I want to give you permission to just start something.  Worried that you are working on the wrong thing?  Try to move past that and start working.  You might discover that something else would have been a better place to start.  In the meantime, if you are making progress working on another priority, it isn’t wrong at all.  You can still make productive progress to accomplishing things on your to do list.

What do you think, can these keys work for you?

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