Maintaining a Task List

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated December 31, 2019)


Have you ever had the problem where, no matter how many task lists you create, you never seem to get things under control? Instead of being able to see the list get smaller, you instead see the list get larger. That is, if you can even find the list itself, and don't have to start all over? A task list, or "to-do" list, will only work if you maintain it properly. Unfortunately, maintaining a task list is a slightly different task than making one. To begin properly maintaining your next task list, follow these simple guidelines.

  • Choose a method that will work. The biggest key to maintaining a task list is to choose a method that will work. Remember that everyone is different, so the method that works for Aunt Jane may not necessarily work for you. Keep experimenting with different methods for task lists until you find one that works for you. Some people like to create a standardized task list that they can use over and over again, without needing to deviate at all. Others like colorful lists that they can personalize. The choice of method is totally dependant upon your personal preference.
  • Location. A task list will only work properly if you know where to find it. Pick one location in your office, home, or even on a piece of equipment that you can keep your task list. This way you will know at a moment's notice where it is, and can easily access it. For example, if you happen to have a cell phone then you have an easily accessed to-do list by using the phone's "notepad." If you happen to have a smart phone, then you are in even more luck since many of them come with a basic scheduler program that you can use for your task list. Another option is to tape some paper to your refrigerator door, or the back of your office door.
  • Keep it current. Maintaining a task list means that you need to maintain it. This means that you will need to periodically pull it out, and look at it. The best time to do this is whenever you have finished a task. As you finish a given task, cross it off of the list. It is next to impossible to describe the feeling that you get as you cross off an item from your task list, knowing that you don't have to worry about it any more. As you get new tasks or assignments that you need to do, be sure that you write them down as well. This way you don't forget anything, and can reference your list later on.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 2 + 5?

2013-10-31 12:02:18


A small voice-activated recorder is good to carry in a pocket. I think there maybe even an "app" for that on the phones as well.

2013-10-31 09:32:10


I know a person that is so disorganized that even this tip won't work. She has no idea where things are in her home, so a task list would get lost!

2013-10-31 07:34:57


Agree with much of this, apart from taping it down. The main cause of having multiple lists (and the problems that causes) is not having one to hand so think the notebook or phone advice is the best. Also having it to hand when a thought pops into mind is a key element. No more sleepless nights trying to remember stuff, just jot it down.