If you tend to forget things, miss deadlines often, feel overwhelmed by tasks, or have generalized stress or anxiety, to-do lists are the solution for you.
To-do lists can serve a variety of purposes: they are incredibly flexible tools and can serve as a compass for many people.
Here are 4 ways in which to-do lists can improve your life:
Increase Your Productivity
Having a to-do list helps you to prioritize your personal tasks and work. By organizing and completing your most important tasks first, you learn how to better manage your time.
To-do lists work as a visual reminder of goals and tasks that need to be accomplished. This is important because they serve the purpose of unloading your memory system (essentially serving as an external memory bank). To-do lists also remind you at any given moment which next step or task to tackle. With this, you can improve your overall memory by reinforcing your short-term memory.
Provide Some Motivation
Having too many tasks can bog down your determination to get them completed. With a to-do list, you have the opportunity to prioritize tasks. Also, to-do lists provide a strong visual of what you've accomplished at the end of the day. This can either be motivating or gives you great feedback about your trends and tendencies.
Writing something down brings a task to life: when you write down a task, you are adding it as a tangible part of your life. Therefore, it is now up to you to complete that task. With a to-do list, you are giving yourself a tangible goal to accomplish.
You won’t regret having a to-do list.
Whether you use a journal or something more portable like an application, to-do lists are incredibly effective. Personally, I have been using some form of a to-do list for roughly 8 years. The last four years, I have been the mobile/desktop app, Todoist. Pro-tip: the free version of this app has everything you need.