How to Make Impactful To-do Lists

Make a list and check it twice. Kari Stewart, owner of Highpoint People Company, shares her tips on how to make more effective lists for every part of your life.

By Ren Bishop

Mar 2017

Start making lists.
Like any good habit, the first step is to start. But for smarter list making, define a list’s purpose before writing its first item. “If you have a problem, lists will help solve it,” Stewart says. “Not having a list often makes people less productive because they’re less efficient.”

Set your priorities.
Once you’ve made a list with a specific purpose, setting your priorities can help drive task completion, Stewart says. “Work through your values and set priorities based off of what’s most important to you,” she says. “If that means categorizing or color coding, great. If that means changing the order of the list, sure. But define the must-dos.”

Modify your list.
Once you’ve added to a list or failed to complete a longer list, modify your approach as you go. “If digital isn’t working for you, try a pad of paper,” Stewart says. “If you keep forgetting your list, bring it with you on your phone. Or if it’s too long and it’s overwhelming, maybe try making a new list every day. Lists are no good if they don’t work within the way you [work].”