How to Accomplish Goals and To-Dos
Wondering how to achieve goals and be more productive? It’s easier than you think! You’ll need three types of lists: goals, to-dos, and checklists.
The first step is determining your goals. The second step is making a making a comprehensive to-do list that includes everything you need to do, plus the first step or two of your goal. Once you’ve created this to-do list, you’ll want to consider creating separate checklists for repetitive tasks.
Once you have mastered these three types of lists, you’ll have a clearer mind and achieve more in less time, at work or home. Just be sure to keep your home and work lists separate. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Goals
To determine your goals write a comprehensive list of everything that you would like to achieve. These are goals, not to-dos. Goals might be lose weight, get organized, run a marathon, spend more time with family, be financially secure, be on time, be kinder, etc.
Next, circle the three goals that would make you the happiest. Designate the order in which you would like to accomplish these goals by writing a number 1, 2, or 3 next to the three goals you circled.
Then, write down what goal #1 is and then list below it the steps, in order, that are needed to achieve it. Write the exact action that needs to be completed. Don’t write a vague action like “eat healthier.” Also, write the list so someone else can follow the steps with little or no instruction from you. If it works that well for someone else, just think how easy it will work for you! The sample list below is comprehensive and defines the steps for losing weight through diet.
- Research diets online
- Choose diet to follow
- Meal plan for week
- Make grocery list
- Grocery shop
- Prepare food for week
- Track food consumption
- Track weight change
It is important to work only on one goal at a time until you have it accomplished or mastered it. It’s difficult for anyone to focus on more than one goal at time. You might make progress, but not excel.
Step 2: To-Dos:
This will be your main go-to list, the most important list of all three types. To create, set aside your goal list and make a comprehensive to-do list of all the other tasks you need to complete that are non-goal related. Then to this list add the first step or two for your #1 goal.
When making the list write the exact first step for each to-do. If you need to change an oven light bulb but need to buy the bulb first, write down “buy oven light bulb” not “change oven light bulb.” Otherwise each time you look at “change oven light bulb” you’ll move past completing because you can’t do it until you buy the light bulb. Make a separate list for home and work.
Once the list has been created, circle the three most important tasks to complete. As a task is completed, put a line through it. When the first 3 most important tasks are complete, circle the next three, and repeat the pattern.
Before leaving work, update your work to-do list. Before going to bed, update your home to-do list. Don’t be afraid to keep your home to-do list on your nightstand so you can jot down any last minute to-dos before you close your eyes.
With both to-do lists, at the end of the day always remember to circle the three most important tasks to complete the next day. This way you will be focused first thing in the morning, whether at home or work.
Step 3: Checklists
Checklists are perfect for repetitive tasks as they eliminate the time and thought process to remake the list each time the task needs to be completed. The checklist also is key in getting the task completed correctly and quickly. Better yet, it allows for easy delegation of the task to a family member, service provider, or a co-worker.
Examples of common checklists are: packing, cleaning, opening and closing procedures, office routine, and maintenance (weekly, monthly, or yearly). Weekly monthly or yearly checklist can get a little tricky. Look at our example for guidance. It was made in Microsoft Word using tables.