Making a To-Do List

By: Julie East, Corporate Marketing & Recruiting

Feb 23, 2021

Not everyone runs on lists. People can use checklists for all sorts of things: grocery shopping, holiday shopping, packing for vacation, keeping track of homework assignments, or onboarding new hires. Lists can be very useful in a business setting when dealing with highly complicated and collaborative projects. For those who struggle with time management, creating an efficient to-do list is an amazing tool in not only keeping track of your progress, but also in an overall sense of accomplishment.



The whole purpose of a list is to be able to track your accomplishments. The longer a list becomes, the harder it can be to motivate yourself. Start by organizing your tasks into priority. Is this something that has to be accomplished today or can it wait?  

  • Daily List. This list contains things that take priority! These are things that just can’t wait till later in the week. Example: calling the baker to order a cake, filling out that permission slip for school, or completing that spreadsheet for a meeting tomorrow. Be sure to start fresh and make a new list every day. If something stays on your to-do list for too long and doesn’t get done, it can affect your motivation. Either move it to the very top of your to-do list, or consider moving it to a long-term list.
  • Weekly List. This list should contain anything that needs to be completed within 7 days. It could be a task such as getting a new tire, scheduling an oil change, or beginning that PowerPoint presentation.  These items should make their way to your daily list once it gets close to completion.
  • A Master List. This lays out your long-term goals. Bigger goals usually take some time: they tend to be complicated, challenging, and require patience. It’s common for people to get frustrated when the process takes longer, which is a big reason why people give up mid-project.



The simple act of crossing off items on your to-do list is a gratifying feeling.  This feeling of accomplishment is a great way to boost productivity by reminding yourself how well you did. Think of a to-do list as a running roll call of small achievements to celebrate. Celebrating the small victories will give you the confidence to approach the greater challenges.

When we experience even small amounts of success, our brains release dopamine, which is connected to feelings of pleasure and motivation. When we feel the effects of dopamine, we’re eager to repeat the actions that resulted in that success in the first place. When we are positively motivated, we learn to take that same action to receive the same feeling. This is why achieving small goals is such an effective way to stay motivated during long-term projects and processes.  

By understanding the psychological reasons and motivators for keeping a list, not only does it improve productivity, but it means we accomplished something real and meaningful. Each checklist item was a challenge (large or small) that we overcame and completed.  So the next time you feel amazing after checking all the items off of a to-do list, you’ll know exactly why. Keep on making those lists!

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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