For some people daily to-do list is like a gospel. For others, it’s wishful thinking. No matter where you happen to fall into, there is one simple way you can optimise your to-do list, and make sure stuff that needs to get done, gets done.

Every item must relate to annual/life goals.

Your long-term goals are the key. Most of us want something big. Whether it’s the ultimate job, your own business, a family, speaking a foreign language, or travelling the world. Whatever it is, we want it badly, because we can’t have it straight away. It’s those dreams that you should be moving towards through daily action.

Follow these steps to make sure you stay on track:

Write Down Your Big Goals

If you haven’t done that already, do it now. Writing down goals in clear manner, makes them more actionable. When you create your daily to-do list, look at your big goals, and ask yourself how do your daily goals relate to these.

Review Periodically

You should be reviewing your big goals at least every six months. Ideally every quarter. Ask yourself, are you taking steps towards these goals every day? Do you still want the same thing? Has your life situation changed to make things easier or harder?

Don’t Hesitate to Change Goals

There is nothing wrong with changing goals. Just because you wanted something six months ago, doesn’t mean you have to want it now. Think about what’s changed. Are you simply quitting because the going’s tough, or do you genuinely want something different now? If it’s the latter, refocus, review your situation, and make a new goal.

Don’t Waste Time on Things That Are Irrelevant

Whenever you find yourself dragged into immediate issues or new interest, think about how that’s serving your long term goals. Of course there will be times when you have to do things you don’t want to do, but they shouldn’t be on your daily to-do list. This list is a plan for accomplishing your big goals, so focus only on those.

Don’t Include Everyday Requirements

Buying milk, walking the dog, brushing your teeth, dentist’s appointments etc. shouldn’t be on the list. Those things are given. You have to do them. They are not goals. They are requirements of everyday life.

Just keep reminding yourself that your goals are the dreams you are trying to realise. These are the things you really want. Your to-do list should reflect broken down segments of those goals, and nothing else.

(Photo credit: My Goals List via Shutterstock)

Love this article?