Personal Organization Tip of the Week: Break your To-Do list into digestable chunks

Posted on February 5, 2009. Filed under: Personal Organization | Tags: , , , |

from Evan S. Photography

from Evan S. Photography

To-do lists, to-do lists, to-so lists…  It seems like they never end.  I personally am addicted to them and do not know if I could function without one in my life.  If you are busy it essential to keep a list of what you are doing.  The hard part of keeping a list is knowing how to make it work for yourself.  There are many techniques I will talk about, but one very important one is to keep your to-do’s in reasonable chunks.

Here’s what I mean.  If you recieve a project, let’s say it is to write a grant for a program you are working on, don’t just put “write grant” on your list.  For me it is easier to look at each step I need to take in the process and then add those to the list.  I look at every project and break it down into digestable chunks, chunks that can hopefully be completed in less than 2 hours.

Breaking the to-dos down:

Helps me stay on task. It is harder to forget things I need to do when they are all written down.  Also, if it is planned out well enough in the beginning everything should get done on time or even early.

Keeps me from getting bored. As I talked about before I like to plan out my calendar with each task I want to be working on.  If my tasks are broken down into 2 hour time limits I can work on multiple ones through out the day.  My preference is to work on more than one project at a time so that I don’t get bored doing one task all day.  There are times that call for this, but for the most part it is sometimes better to come back to something with a fresh perspective the next day.

Helps me be underwhelmed. Well, I am never totally underwhelmed, there is always something going on, but I hate the feeling of sitting down with a project for the first time when it is due in a couple days and saying “where do I start.”  This is just never a good feeling and can be avoided if you break down your tasks.

How do you manage your to-do list?  Share some tips on how you best you manage your tasks.


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2 Responses to “Personal Organization Tip of the Week: Break your To-Do list into digestable chunks”

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Instead of participating in this dialogue, I leave you with this hilarious 10 Things I Hate About You quotation:

Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe.


Your post is right on the money. In fact I wanted to let you know about an online tool I have developed to do just that. It is called, and it helps you to organize your tasks into projects (or seperate chunks) to help you stay on task!


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