Now that you can see the big picture of your semester and weekly priorities, the next step is to create a daily to-do list. You can use your smartphone, a paper planner, or your Outlook account to track your tasks. Do what works best for you.
Here are some principles to consider when creating your to-do list:
- At the end of each day, take a few minutes to plan the following day.
- Write down each task you want to accomplish. Note which tasks are the highest priority.
- Break large tasks into smaller chunks. Consider what you’ll accomplish in one work period (usually 1 hour).
- Create tasks that are well-defined; you should know when the task is finished. For example, instead of “work on my research paper/assignment”, change it to “find three academic articles for my research paper” or “create my paper/assignment outline”.
- To increase your sense of accomplishment and create forward momentum, check off tasks as you complete them.
- Move any tasks yet to be completed to tomorrow’s to-do list.
Keep your To-Do List somewhere you check regularly, such as your smartphone home page or desktop screen.
Today’s To-Do List
|Read chapter 9 for biology
|Draft thesis for communication paper
|Find 3 peer reviewed sources for paper
For the next week, commit to making a daily to-do list.
- Use a paper planner or your phone.
- After trying this for a week, re-evaluate what worked for you.
- Make any changes needed.