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How to Be Organized With To Do Lists

Updated on August 28, 2008

To Do Lists Are the Answer for How to Be Organized

I was born with no organization ability whatsoever. I have tried all of the get organized systems out there. I used the Palm pilots and moleskin planners. I've bought and read I don't know how many books about how to be organized.

You know what? The best way to get organized and stay organized for me is still the classic to do list. After years of trying to learn how to be organized by building a better organizing mousetrap, simple pad and paper with tasks written down beats them all. Whether you need general household organizing tips or to get life organized in general, to do lists are worth the effort. Read the following tips for how to be organized.

Tips for Using To Do Lists to Get Organized

After writing your to do list, assign priorities to your tasks. Then number your tasks according to importance. Make #1 on your list your most important priority for the day. Don't wander down to the other, easier chores on your list first. Check off each item as you get it done. This adds a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment to see items checked off the to do list. This advice has been repeated again and again when it comes to how to get organized, but it is because it works.

When writing down the tasks on your to do list, make sure they are doable. In other words, don't write down 'paint the kitchen' if you haven't even bought paint yet. Make each task a small chunk of a larger project until the project is completely finished.

Don't get sidetracked. Concentrate on one main goal at a time. If necessary, turn off the phone or put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door. Distractions are the biggest time wasters and contributors to goals not being met and tasks not being completed.

Keep your to do list somewhere that it will be seen often. Some good choices are the refrigerator, your office desk, even taped to the television! It helps to have identical lists at home and work. This allows you to do chores on the way to and from work and saves time and energy.

Each evening or first thing each morning, get out your to do list. Go over it to refresh your memory for what needs to be done. Add new tasks that need to be completed and remember to number them by priority. Don't make your to do list unrealistic, or you will get overwhelmed and quit using it.

Rewards- The Fun Part of How to Be Organized and Stay Organized

Give yourself mini rewards throughout the day. For example, you can eat one square of chocolate after you accomplish every other task on your to do list. If you have a really gangbusters kind of day, promise yourself a true treat that you normally wouldn't lavish on yourself. It doesn't have to be expensive. Just be sure that it is something that you rarely indulge in and that you would really enjoy.

To make it more fun and interesting, write a few treats down on small pieces of paper. Put them in a jar. Draw out a treat after you accomplish an established goal. It works great for kids, but guess what? Adults fall for this trick, too.

Important Reminder for How to Be Organized

Of course, none of this will help you learn how to be organized and stay organized if you don't stick to your to-do lists. To be honest, this is the real ticket to any method that shows how to be organized. You can write books of lists, but if you don't actually work at the chores on your to-do list, you will never get organized.

This is why you should keep your to do list in plain sight everyday so that you can't escape it. If you spend most of your day at a computer, use a software program that lets you make a to do list or try the online websites that let you create personalized to do lists. You can set up your computer so that your to do list pops up when your computer boots up. If you're never without your phone, you can set up automatic messages sent to you as a to do list to remind you of important tasks.

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    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

      I am always with a list in hand or pocket. I am sure this is the way to go and like Bob said, it feels good to cross something off.

    • pariprashneno profile image

      pariprashneno 9 years ago from Kolkata, India

      You helped me a lot! great piece of work!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I like to-do lists it feels good to cross something off.