How To Finish Your To-Do List: An Everyday Survival Guide

How often does your today’s to-do list turn into a tomorrow to-do list? How often does your one-page to-do list turn into two (or three) each time you add new tasks and never cross one out? Don’t worry, we’ve been there, done that, and thankfully, surpassed that. 

Checking off your to-do list and actually finishing it in a day is definitely a challenge especially in today’s time where distractions are in every corner. But don’t lose hope! All you need is a little guidance (by us!) and a sprinkle of dedication.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is. With all that said, here are our top valuable tips and strategies on how you can finish your to-do list (within a day!):

Start early, end early

You really need to plan out your time smartly. Of course, if you want to finish your tasks early, then you have to start doing it early. If you know you have quite a long list of tasks than usual, then you might want to sacrifice scrolling on social media for an hour right after waking up. You can also set an alarm and wake up earlier than the time you usually get up. 

This might sound dreadful but you’ll thank yourself once the day ends and you still have a lot of free time on your hands.

Write specific tasks

Writing specific tasks can help you plan out your time effectively. This can also help you visualize what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. Having a specific list of tasks also means you won’t be missing an important task because every chore you need to do is already up in your face – there is no excuse of you forgetting it anymore. 

So, instead of writing, “clean the house” which comes with a lot of activities in it, try listing down these instead:

  • Sweep floor
  • Dust cabinets 
  • Organize bookshelf 
  • Throw trashbags 

Start easy

Cross off the easy tasks first. This can be the simple chores I stated like sweeping the floor, dusting the cabinets, making your bed, making a fruit smoothie, etc. The thing is, if you start with hard tasks first like, “write and finish an article”, you might forget – or even just ignore – to fold your clothes or sweep the floor because you’ve already spent so much energy. And besides, doesn’t it feel good crossing off tasks (no matter how menial they are) on your list and feeling like you’ve already accomplished so much (because you really did!)? 

Set breaks

Didn’t expect to find this phrase here, huh? You might say, “Why would I set breaks if I want to finish my to-do list immediately?”. Doing tasks continuously can be mentally and physically draining. This can lead to procrastinating as you may want to feel like putting off your next task until a later time because you don’t have the energy to tackle it. Hence, you need to take short breaks when you need to. Go stretch. Rehydrate yourself. Cook something.

Remember that you are still human. You need enough energy to be able to function properly and effectively.

Practice accountability

In the end, it will all come down to you. You need to take full ownership and responsibility of your life and the things that come along with it – including your daily chores and tasks. If you think this is too much to put on yourself, you can always find an accountability partner who will check up on you. This can either be your friends, your partner, or your family.

Reward yourself 

Don’t forget to pat yourself for a job well done. If you’ve crossed off everything on your to-do list, make sure you reward yourself something – you deserve it! It can be a nap, treating yourself out with delicious food, or anything you wish to do during your leisure time. Again, you deserve it! Once you have some sort of reward in store for yourself, you will be more motivated to accomplish your to-do list. 


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Krisy started Kronicles with the aim to inspire and empower. If she is not motivating people through her written words, she's either pretending she doesn't have social anxiety, petting random dogs, or watching the sunset.

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