How and when to write the best to-do list

I was zapping through channels the other night when I caught Sarah Jessica Parker’s I Don’t Know How She Does It movie. I’ve seen it once before and I remember laughing at that point in the movie when she’s in bed and she’s going through a list of what she has to do the next day. I totally do that! Do you? But here’s the thing: By the morning, I forget three quarters of that list. Soooo…

I did some research on the best way to create to-do lists. You see, I find them fascinating because they work. At least I think they do. I know some people find them stressful and others say that calendars are more effective. But when you know how to write the perfect to-do list and WHEN to write it, trust me, stuff starts happening.


So first and foremost, write your list the night before. Apparently, planning the night before increases productivity and you’ll actually start processing your list while you’re asleep because the brain is a powerful piece of machinery that works wonders when you’re resting.

So finish each day by writing three to five things you want to get done tomorrow.

And here’s where the next vital step comes: Keep it short. A long to-do list kills motivation and that’s where most of us go wrong.


If you find that hard to do then do a mind dump, which is something I discovered on this Forbes’ best to-do list tips list – ha! Anyway, so if you’ve sat down to write your list, once the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet but all you get is a million useless activities and must-do’s popping into your head, take five minutes and do a mind dump. Write down a list of all the those useless things that have nothing to do with what you want to get done the next day and then throw it away. THEN get back to your real to-do list.

Another cool tip to make sure you get through your to-do list is dividing it into sections. One writer had three parts: digital quickies, work and real world


Digital quickies– stuff you can do from your phone or computer

Work – obvious

Real world– stuff that can only get done out in the real world, i.e errands.


Or in the case of busy mums:




I’m only a few days into this new way of working a to-do list and so far so good. Yes, there are a few items I haven’t managed to cross off my list because you know, pregnancy and a toddler can do that to a person but in the long run I can see this working.

Do you have any tips on how to write the best and most effective to-do list? I’d love to hear them!






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