Creating a to-do list is a practice that is probably as old as writing itself. The word “agenda” comes from Latin and literally means “things to be done.” The Book of Genesis begins with a to — do list of the work of each day of creation. On the first day, a Monday, it is said that God created light. Each day has its task: firmaments on Tuesday, land and trees on Wednesday, and so on till the seventh day, when God scheduled a well-earned rest.
Most of us don’t have such ambitious plans for a single week, but we all have plenty to do! For many people, a to-do list is the most basic planning tool, and sometimes the only one. The question is, are we really getting the most out of it? Whether your list is scribbled on the back of an envelope or curated in a sophisticated app, there are a variety of techniques you can adopt to customize your list to your needs.
In this course, we’ll discuss the reasons for making a to-do list and how list, making actually aids memory and relieves stress. Next, we’ll consider how to-do lists can fail and what we can do to make better lists that is more relevant to our needs. We’ll look at the habits of some famous list-makers, like Benjamin Franklin, and what we can learn from them. We will learn how to turn a to-do list into more of an actual plan by adding our tasks to a calendar and even scheduling breaks. Finally, we’ll learn about the advantages of a shared to-do list for keeping you and your team members on track.
By the end of this course, you will understand the following:
- Discuss reasons for making a to-do list
- Recognize ways that to-do lists fail
- Identify methods for improving a to-do list
- Identify to-do list techniques used by high achieving individuals
- Describe the benefits of scheduling tasks on a calendar
- Examine the benefits of scheduling work breaks
- Recognize the benefits of shared to-do lists
We know that different people like to learn in different ways. If you like to write notes as you work through a course, here’s a handy study guide (.PDF) for you, in printable or “fillable” form. Use the printable version if you would like to print out the study guide and write down your notes. Or, if you prefer to use a PDF reader you can take notes on your favorite handheld device using the “fillable” version.