To Do List for a Remarkably Productive Year

I still don't understand how I ever went through my daily life without utilizing the power of planning. The day I decided I wanted to focus on living a meaningful life, the first thing I probably did was create a to-do list. Today I see these type of to-do lists as more of a gateway into truly optimizing your daily routine. Even though I still use them every day I go about it in an entirely different way.

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Before I became a self-proclaimed planner addict, I feel like I was going through life aimlessly and without much of a goal in life. I was always very ambitious but I didn't recognize that in order to achieve what I want, I would need to carve out a path for myself. Today I realize that without actionable steps, you can't really become your best self. 

In order to have a remarkably productive year, there has to be some sort of a plan in place that will help guide you and make sure you stay on track. The truth is that to-do lists are not very good at this. This is all because of one pretty simple fact: To-do lists lack prioritization.

Why Is This a Problem?

To-do lists may be perfectly fine for a beginner. However, if you are well on your way through college or you are interested in starting a business of your own, to-do lists are probably not going to cut it in terms of your planning resources. To do list don't have a goal in mind. this is why you should set yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals. These ”big goals” are then split into weekly and daily tasks that make up your to-do list. 

To do list simply lack context. They don't show the motivation behind a task, and this can usually make you forget why you're actually doing something. Seeing the bigger picture can make the difference between being average and being great at something. 

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There is a better way

There are several ways that you can trick your brain in order to induce productivity. One of them is certainly the Pomodoro technique, as well as creating different types of lists. Sadly this is most likely just a temporary solution to a much bigger problem. In order to be determined on a daily basis, you need to map out your goals on a bigger scale. When you know why you are doing a seemingly unimportant daily task, you will last much longer and you will stay accountable to yourself. 

Think about what is most important to you. What is the one thing, that would make the biggest difference if you achieved it today? This is a good place to start and see if this is where you should start from. Personal and professional goals are equally important. Keeping a balance between these two is valuable to your mental health.

Other Planning Methods

You don't need to use a planner or a to-do list app in order to stick with your goals. There are several different learning resources online that you can use to your benefit. The ones I often mention and use are WeekPlan and Trello. They are irreplaceable in my planning routine and I use them every day. I use Trello for organizing my entire life and all aspects of it, and WeekPlan comes in handy when I am planning my day to day life and tasks within it. My Bullet Journal is also a part of my life. I have been using it for two years now and it has become the main key in my life staying organized.

Conclusion

It is extremely useful to plan ahead. Planning and keeping a journal have been proven to reduce levels of anxiety and stress, as well as bringing you closer to your goals. If you are serious about achieving your dreams in the following year, you should expand into other planning methods and ditch the unorganized to-do list! 

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