To Do List: 21 Smart Steps to Create Errorless Checklist

Know how to make a successful and effective to-do list and never fail in achieving your goals. Be the most productive version of yourself with the help of your errorless checklist. Hit the link and get ready!
To-Do List: Smart steps to create perfectly errorless checklist
A little girl showing a to-do list in her dear diary!

To-Do List Making Steps


Do you often feel messed and dizzy because of too many pending works? Do those deadlines often make you see stars over your head every next day?

In this fast going world, with increasing competition and hectic day-to-day life, it becomes almost impossible to say “Yes, I have no pending work”. So, has God mistaken with his calculations while allotting just 24 hours for a day? Or you are the only one who is selected by nature itself to give the weight of extra work?

Well, neither God nor nature has done an injustice to you or anyone. People who walk freely with a smile of ‘no tension of pending jobs’ have also the same ‘24 hours’ of day. What’s different with them is their smart move towards managing the various tasks.

Here you are the secret of their smile- a “To-Do List”. Yes, it is that simple. Let’s learn here to make a perfect to-do list with 21 successful tips to end with a productive, effective, efficient, and successful time and task management to organize your works. Enjoy the easy-to-follow and straightforward tips with examples on what to do and what not while making an optimized to-do list.

Select Medium: Choose What’s Convenient for You

Several To-Do List formats are available on the net to follow, but research says that if you write information from your own hand, you tend to not forget it.

However, if a pen is an old-fashioned tool for you now or you have started thinking… “Oh’ so do I go to a tailor to get my dresses altered with a pocket to carry that paper of to-do list everywhere?”

Then forget all that research says on handwritten notes and go to any app that offers you the shape and size you like. Or simply make one on MS Excel for creating the personal to-do list format.

The Layout of To-Do List: Make Sections

Make different types of lists giving them unique names. Check out the below examples!

  1. Dream To-Do List: For long term goals
    • Purchase a guitar
    • Enroll in a guitar class

  2. Dream To-Do List: For Long Term Goals
    • Purchase a guitar
    • Enroll in a guitar class

  3. Monthly To-Do List: For Less Prior Jobs
    • Sign up for an online language learning class
    • Buy curtains or a bed-sheet

  4. Weekly To-Do List: For Tasks to be done in Coming Seven Days
    • Get a birthday present for a friend
    • Get the stitched dress from the tailor

  5. Daily To-Do List: Checklist for Today
    • Call aunt to wish her happy anniversary
    • Make presentation
    • Meeting with a project manager

  6. Hit To-Do List: For High Priority Works
    • Pay for electricity bill
    • Meet friend’s sick father
    • Boil milk

Keep Your To-Do List Updated

Keep shuffling your tasks from Monthly List to Weekly to Hitlist as per the priority of work. Don’t miss updating them on a daily basis.

Prioritize Your To-Do Jobs over Not-To-Do Tasks

Don’t make a mile-long list of jobs that make you tired and frightened to walk for. Learn to prioritize them and keep them on the right list. You cannot do everything and all the things today. So, relax and make the lists mindfully.

Yes, we have endless jobs to do, but all of those jobs are not essential to accomplish right now. Some are important and some are vital. A simple to-do list can be powerful and successful, only if it is well-prioritized. The effectiveness and productivity of this task management depend on how well we calculate the importance of any task.

Before keeping a task in a category of Hitlist, Daily list, or monthly list, think twice: When to do?” and analyze the importance of a task before including it in your task list.

This way you never miss to meet the MITs, that is, Most Important Tasks.

Keep it Smart and Smiling: A Simple To-Do List

Smart to-do list for task management: Specs-wearing cute giraffe cartoon illustration on being smart by adding adding task to the to-do list just before doing it
To-Do List making tip by a smart, cute giraffe!

Remember, To-Do List is not a magic wind that will make you a superman. Means don’t make a hypothetical list that can’t be achieved. Don’t add all the things in Hit List or Daily List. Set the targets that are realistically possible so that you can enjoy that smile of satisfaction when you check it back at night.

Stay Calm and Easy: Tasks to Keep Prior Considering them “Most Important Tasks”

There are some small, simple, ordinary-looking tasks that are important like anything and above anything. Don’t ignore them.


  1. Take shower
  2. Remove wrinkles from your bed sheet
  3. Fold clothes
  4. Wash dinner dishes
  5. Take a proper five-course meal diet, without skipping breakfast or lunch or, someday dinner

Including stuff like brushing teeth might give you a laugh if you find it silly to mention, but trust me these smaller things may perk up your day if crossed in a disciplined way daily and might send you to dark too if not accomplished timely.

They are important to make mind space. These are those dump files that consume space and affect the processing of your brain. Just do them to clean up your brain from the wastage.


If you are making a presentation and some tea is spilled on the table which is clogging your mind, just clean that table first; doesn’t matter how important that presentation work is. It might seem less important but is most important to keep your subconscious mind empty from these bugs.

Sometimes, you spend more energy on avoiding something. Where accomplishing what you have been avoiding takes lesser energy.

Divide and Rule: Break Intimidating Tasks

Some tasks are born to spoil such a to-do list.

Examples of these tasks that threaten you like a monster:

  1. Work on research paper
  2. Manage the shelf with a pile of unfolded clothes
  3. Clean the fridge

Do what the British kingdom did with Indians- Divide and rule. Break your work into pieces.

Here You Are the Revised To-Do List!

  1. Write research paper’s first half of 13th chapter (If you are marking it for Tuesday, then mark the second half of the chapter for Wednesday in Weekly List)
  2. Manage the two upper shelves of unfolded clothes (Mark it on the daily list and leave two lower shelves for the weekly list)
  3. Clean the fridge (Mark it on the daily list and leave other racks for the weekly list)

You can reduce your fear or laziness this way, keeping your life easy and managed.

Be Specific and Precise with Your Task-List

Perfect, effective, and powerful 'To-Do List': An interesting cartoon set to hold a coffee mug in the illustration of a to-do list with presised action list with bullets: Go to Cafe, Order a coffee, Drink Coffee.
A Precise To-Do List: 1. Go to Cafe. 2. Order a coffee. 3. Drink Coffee.

Write exact and achievable.

For example, don’t write “Clean India”.
If you are a social worker and working on a cause based on increasing hygiene level of a country, write: “Clean Street-2 of Adarsh Nagar’s Sector 12”.

Make Your To-Do List Informative, Thus Powerful

Mention the complete information about a job on your To-Do List.

For example, Instead of writing just “Call Mr. Ronal”, do write his name with contact details. It will save you from scrambling for his number at the time of calling him, leaving you with no excuse for not completing the job on time.

There is one more profit. For getting any such information, you will scroll your To-Do List, which means your eyes will go through other tasks as well, giving you a reminder for them.

Turn Your To-Do List into a Schedule: Play Smart

When you are done with making your to-do list, mention the specific time, date, and place of the task. It will convert your to-do list into a schedule, indeed into a smart task management tool.

For Example, Clean inbox while traveling to London (4 to 5 pm, Tue, Dec 20)

It will save you time and keep you focused. Think, what is the rationale of allotting an extra one hour to clean your inbox when it can be done while traveling with listening to good music tracks.

Figure Out the Bugger

Figure out those tasks which are pending for a long or which tend to get pending always. Analyze and check where the bugger is and find a solution to remove the hurdle or fear or whatsoever stops you. Attach a note of a solution with that task to your to-do list.

Example: If you are escaping from calling your uncle because he sucks with his exaggerated style of talking and drags meaningless gossips, then find a solution to it instead of not calling him.

For example, say your mom to ring the bell in between on your sign. Say to your uncle that someone is at the door and you need to go. That’s it. You called and saved yourself too. (I know it is not a good example, but sometimes you can’t help it.)

Tempt Yourself: Make a Tricky yet Playful Deal

There are some tasks that remain pending for no reason. You don’t find a solution to it too, because that does not exist. You just don’t like some things to do. But unfortunately, they are important too. In such a case, tempt yourself and make a deal with yourself.

Example: If that chapter 4 of your physics book invites your sleep, be firm that you will not play your favorite video game or mobile game until and unless you remember that chapter. You can make a deal too that you will get to play a chance if you remember five pages. And next chance on another five pages, and so on.

The trick is to make your weakness a plus.

Challenge Yourself

Be a sport and challenge yourself for the tasks that fear you. Sometimes, take challenges publically too, So that you will feel accountable for completing that job.

Maintaining a To-Do List is Also a Job!

The best way to maintain a to-do list is, whenever you remember any task; mark that one immediately on your task list, instead of leaving it for later. Whenever you accomplish a task, tick it on your list. Otherwise, you can forget too, or updating your to-do list will also become a task to mention in it.

Still spare some time to update it because this is what going to save your time unimaginably, leaving you with a hassle-free and productive life. It can be morning time or traveling time or the time before you sleep at night.

The best time to review or update a to-do list is the nighttime when you are relaxed. If you update it before you sleep, you wake up with clarity the next morning for your targets. Your day leads in the right direction from starting.

Adore the Tick Marks

Don’t delete the old list of accomplished tasks. Those tick marks are not just the signs of completion, but a reward of satisfaction that is worth adoring. Motivate and boost yourself seeing them and crave for ticking other pending jobs too.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Arrange and prioritize your work in a way that you finish an important work way before its deadline loom around. Don’t schedule the work for the same day — for the day of its deadline. Be proactive. And if you are doing it early, don’t be careless and let anything interrupt you, especially those Whatsapp pings or Facebook messenger. Take priority as "priority". Set boundaries.

Be Flexible: Say ‘No’ to a Tight Schedule

Don’t make a very tight schedule. It might panic you. Give some breaks or gaps between two tasks, giving yourself some space to breathe. Sometimes you get unexpected guests too like a headache, overflow of the tank, or over-boiled milk, etc.

To overcome, compensate, or manage such bugs, the gaps will play a backup plan for you. And your other schedules will also not suffer.

Life is unpredictable and however, we are not machines. In that break, if you have nothing, listen to music, enjoy the game, have a cup of coffee, adore beautiful nature or pursue any of your tastes or hobby, or just hold your cushion. In short, do anything that brings a smile and makes you feel relaxed and at ease.

Take Fresh Starts for Better Task Management

If you fail with any of your agenda, don’t feel sad, pessimistic, or discouraging. Don’t allow any failure to let you down or go over your head. Be optimistic and with zeal about taking a fresh start with a better approach. We are humans and we have our own limitations. Take things easy and going. It is never late.

Be Strategic: Quantity or Quality?

Are you confused about quality and quantity? It is not necessary that A To-Do List that makes you complete many tasks, is productive too. Save yourself from ticking on many tasks and still living a low-impact day. Keep your To-Do List strategic to make it impactful. Don’t choose too many easy-to-complete tasks to make you feel good about doing a great job of meeting the deadlines.

Almost every entrepreneur knows the value of the To-Do List and most of the entrepreneurs maintain it, update it and carry it as an essential tool. But about 80% of people do not use it effectively. To make it productive and focused, stop using it for measuring self-worth. Ask yourself, ‘Am I running behind the sense of accomplishment?’, ‘Am I avoiding taking harder challenges or tough jobs?’ and judge to ensure that you are not wasting time to finish menial chores. Remember, “Good job doesn’t mean finishing too many tasks”.

Have patience: Stop to Scroll Your To-Do List All the Day

Are you scrolling your To-Do List all the time and stressing out to tackle next job #07 while job #06 is not ready to finish? Take a breath and relax. Be patient and stop wasting time tracking your list of jobs all day. Such a tendency reduces your mental stamina as you start sucking your energy in tension while feeling bad. Negative thinking holds you back and stops you from working efficiently. Have confidence and keep going with positive spirits. Remember the story of the tortoise?

Don’t Make Your To-Do List a ‘Torture Tool’

If you have a habit of taking too much burden and later blaming yourself to be a failure, break this habit now. Where this tinny paper list tool can work like magic, it might leave you to doom too, if taken in the wrong way.

First, don’t make it for self-flagellation. Make it easy and simple, yet strategic, meaningful, and impactful.

Second, don’t let it ruin your positive spirits if you fail to accomplish all the tasks. Never let a failure rule over your head. Failure just leads you to take a fresh start, a better start, a right start, a chance to improve your old mistakes. That’s it. It is not a tool for judging your capabilities. Don’t let it drain your energy, indeed rise with double energy to get success this time.


If you know your prior work and doing that, still a work due for the weekend has become an annoying bee, first, do something to dump it.

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Click to Know More: Mental Tension: 5 Interesting Eye Openers

Write all those jobs in a paper that are visiting your mind again and again. And dump them in your drawer. Now forget them. Listen to your favorite track or a fast number and enjoy its every beat to the fullest. Now get back to refocus on work that you had mentioned on priority last night, keeping all worries at bay.

I recommend stress-busters as refueling agents that play catalyst. Enjoy them.

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