Let’s talk about making a to-do list. It is possible you are thinking one of two things right now: 1) Making a list is lame, or 2) making a list is a waste of time.
I hear your objections, but allow me to tell you why you should be a fan of making a list. Two words: Santa Clause.
You get presents every year because Santa makes a list and checks it twice…right? Do you think it’s a waste of Santa’s time to write your name on his list? I didn’t think so. Making a list is not a waste of your time either.
All joking aside, making a to-do is one of the most important things you can do on a weekly basis to increase your grades and improve your study sessions. According to Oregon State University’s Academic Success Center, when you make a to-do list “you are less likely to miss appointments, forget important tasks, or let small tasks slip through the cracks.”
Here are three key areas that are positively affected by making a to-do list.
1. Making a to-do list will boost your level of productivity
Nothing will kill your productivity like sitting at your desk or in the library trying to figure out what you need to get done. [highlight]The least productive thing you can possibly do is nothing[/highlight].
I guarantee you will never be productive doing nothing. This is where a to-do list can jump-start your study sessions and help you get on the right track towards productivity. If you always know what you have to do, you won’t waste precious time trying to figure it out. So, give it a shot.
Make a to-do list and watch your productivity soar. It doesn’t have to be complicated (and in reality, it never should be); just write down what’s due/what you need to get done. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
2. Making a to-do list will improve your ability to focus
The ability to get focused and stay focused is a really important factor in trying to have a good study session. We live in a world full of distractions: email, text messages, social media, and even our own short attention spans can derail and distract us.
Having a to-do list can help you stay focused on the task at hand and provide a barrier against any unwanted distractions from slowing you down. It will be easy for you to “stay in the zone” when all you have to do is march right down your list of things to do, crossing them off as you go.
If you have to stop and figure out what’s next, you are far more likely to be tempted to look and see what’s trending or who’s posting on your wall. Start making a to-do list for your study sessions and you just might surprise yourself at your ability to get and stay focused.
3. Making a to-do list will increase your motivation
Motivation can be a pretty fragile thing. Think about sports for just a minute. How often do you see the momentum of a big game constantly shifting back and forth from one team to another? Team A thinks they are in control and then BOOM: Team B makes a 3, hits a homerun, or scores a touchdown…and all the momentum Team A thought they had is suddenly gone.
The same can be true in your study sessions if don’t have a to-do list. If you don’t have a list to work through, all of the excitement of finishing one task will vanish while you try and figure out what to do next.
Finishing one assignment and marking it off can have a really positive impact motivationally. It may seem pretty simplistic, but it is really satisfying to cross things off of a to-do list. It’s kind of like slaying a dragon…or what I would imagine slaying a dragon would be like.
Slaying a dragon is never lame, and it’s definitely never a waste of time…so start slaying your homework dragons today with a to-do list.