Quick tip: to-do lists

November 2, 2015

Never write a to do list in a notebook. Instead, write them on a piece of paper you can keep visible on your desk or carry with you.

I often get frustrated that I don't finish what I plan to do. I'll write a to-do list in my notebook, but then I'll either close it or turn the page to start working on the first task. I then don't see the list again unless I consciously decide to look for it.

Recently I remembered that when I was writing my thesis, I didn't use my notebook for to-do lists; instead I used scrap paper (usually the reverse side of something I'd printed but no longer needed). This meant that I could keep it to one side, separate from my actual notes, and could refer to it easily when I needed to. It's also quite satisfying to throw them away when done.

I've tried reinstating this habit in the last few weeks, and it seems to work well for me; I think because it takes just that little bit less effort to find.

Sometimes small habits make a big difference!

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