3 expert secrets to a productive to-do list

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By: City Brewed

Has anyone really ever mastered the art of a productive to-do list? I'd show you mine, but I don't want to scare you with the disorganized, "did I finish this yet?" back and forth that happens like clockwork every morning at 7 AM.

I've never really mastered my to-do list. I'll add tasks I've already completed for the sake of crossing off one more item. I'll rewrite the list halfway through the day, pushing tasks to a different day. I'll doodle, try to read through scratched out words, and drop scraps of avocado while I zoom through a lunch break. Needless to say, when the idea for a post on banging out your most productive to-do list came into play, I knew I wasn't the expert you needed to hear from.

Instead I tapped into some favorites, and I think you'll like what they have to say. Take it away, ladies.

GIVE YOUR TO-DO LIST A TO-DO LIST
Rachel Schwartzmann, Founder and CEO, The Style Line LLC: "Give yourself a to-do list for your to-do list. I've gotten better about actually making sure I'm checking what I wrote down in the first place, and for ongoing projects I need to give myself benchmarks along the way until the final deadline."

USE COLORED INDEX CARDS
Nicole Beltrami, Assistant Designer, Nine West Group: "No feeling compares to crossing out the last item on your to-do list. My newest trick is to use index cards (colored ones if I can find them), they're easy to stack or to bring with me if I need to run errands. At work we are usually working on multiple seasons at the same time, so I use multiple lists there as well. I have one for each season and any outstanding deadlines.

IT'S ALL IN THE SCHEDULING
Meagan Hooper, Founder, bSmart Guide: "A life hack I love is scheduling my to do's for when my brain functions best for doing do them. I send emails best between 7-9, read and write between 9-11, check-off quick and easy items off my list from 11 - 2. I absolutely crash from 2-3. Between 3 - 5 is best for collaborations and after dinner is the best time for busy work from 8 - 10. Scheduling what I should do and when has been essential to my success.

Another trick that changed my life was scheduling what Cindy Gallop calls micro-actions. Instead of listing a large to do item, I break the task into super small parts and schedule the micro-actions. All of these tips help me stay on schedule and cross off everything on my to do list!"

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