How to stay organized

Story by Anfal Hanif, Ganimat Kaur, Nicole Kolodziej, Nikhil Kuarsingh

To-do lists are an effective way of staying productive.

Source – Unsplash

Do you have trouble being productive? Keep reading to learn some new tips and tricks on how to stay organized.

Accomplishing the to-do list tasks gives a sense of motivation. It has several perks to make your day manageable and productive.

“I strongly suggest that students maintain a ‘To-do’ list because it can help to manage their time and ease their feelings of being overwhelmed. A to-do list can break down all the individual items that need to get done and can be prioritized based on immediacy.”

VICTORIA MCGLYNN, PROFESSOR AT SHERIDAN COLLEGE.

The list organizes your short-term goals and deadlines. It will help you categorize important work for different spheres of your life. To-do lists are not just for school assignments but can also be efficient for your household chores, social meetings and grocery requirements.

When you have a lot of cleaning to do around the house or tons of errands to run, creating a list will help keep you organized and proactive. Compile your lists in order of importance for the most efficient completion. 


To-do lists can help with consistency in meeting your deadlines. It gets you going for the day as well as staying punctual in a professional environment. A to-do list also encourages multi-tasking and completion of work ahead of schedule.

The practice of listing your tasks will help you find your starting point. Some people are confused about deciding where to start when they have various tasks to accomplish at once.

Organizing also prioritizes the list of things to do. A to-do list will help you understand what’s important and urgent. There are two methods to prioritize your work. You can either reduce the workload by completing several small tasks or spend time eliminating a major project.


To reduce stress and anxiety, categorizing the work following the rule of do, defer, delegate and delete while creating the list. 

‘Do’ is the practice of prioritizing urgent tasks to complete. ‘Defer’ are the tasks that fall below the ladder. ‘Delegate’ refers to passing your task onto someone else for completion. If the task is not urgent and can be saved for later, also known as ‘delete’ the task.

“I typically break down my to-do’s into items that are immediate (to be done within the next few days) and long-term items (looking at a week or more away). I also use colour coding to mark this. I sometimes also use the Strikethrough feature in Word to mark something as completed.”

Victoria Mcglynn, Professor at Sheridan College.

Long term goals can be held off for more agenda type planning. To-do lists are more effective in a short term sense with restricted time for completion.

 To-do list tasks should include short-term goals with a realistic point of view. The satisfaction of striking off the completed tasks boosts the confidence and determination for productivity.

While completing all these tasks and working on your lists effectively, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Drink water and take breaks as needed. Don’t forget to eat all your important meals, and stretch your legs and eyes hourly. Self-care will help you feel better about yourself and all the work you’ve done.

Download some cool planner templates here.

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