Size Doesn’t Matter

It’s that time of year again. The time in which students all over the world are losing their ever loving minds and pulling multiple all nighters in a row. It’s the time when 12 page papers are due, cram sessions abound, and exam times creep closer and closer with every passing moment.

That’s right. It’s finals week and I’m here to tell you a little secret.

Size. Doesn’t. Matter.

You read that correctly. I’m writing a post about finals and I’m saying size doesn’t matter. You’re probably wondering how in the world this makes any sense at all.

I’m talking about To-Do Lists

This kind of corny post is simply to tell you that the size of your to-do list doesn’t matter. As long as you’re able to prioritize and take things one task at a time, you can do it.

My current to-do list kind of looks like this

  • Course Evaluations
  • Extra Credit for Children’s Lit
  • Paper #2 for Philosophy in Literature
  • 10-12 page paper for Philosophy in Literature
  • Practice for Oral Exam on Tuesday
  • Therapy Appointment on Thursday
  • Renew Prescription
  • Read Proust for Philosophy in Literature
  • Email Dr about Syl’s paperwork
  • Critical Paragraph #8 for Philosophy in Literature
  • Pack

It seems really hectic right? That’s because it is. None of these things are prioritized or grouped together or broken up into smaller steps which makes it very overwhelming. So here’s how I would fix my to-do list to make it a little easier to manage

Prioritize

So, this is extremely hard for me because my priorities tend to shift throughout the day. What seemed super important first thing in the morning usually doesn’t seem urgent by the end of the day and thus is doesn’t get done. If I were to prioritize the above list it would go something like this

  1. Email Dr. about Syl’s paperwork
  2. Read Proust for Tuesday’s Class
  3. Critical Paragraph #8
  4. Renew Prescription
  5. Practice for Oral Exam
  6. Paper #2
  7. Course Evaluations
  8. Extra Credit
  9. Therapy Appt
  10. 10-12 Page paper
  11. Pack

So then I would obviously start with the number one thing on the list and work my way down.

Another way to organize your to do list is to group like items together

Grouping

I don’t usually do this one unless I have a lot of similar tasks. For this example I will separate them into three groups.

Group One – Errands

  • Email Dr about Syl
  • Renew Prescription
  • Therapy Appt
  • Pack

Group Two – Homework

  • Read Proust
  • Critical Paragraph
  • Paper #2
  • 10-12 Page Paper

Group Three – Extras

  • Practice for Oral Exam
  • Course Evaluations
  • Extra Credit

This breaks a huge to do list into smaller to do lists in which you can prioritize how you should go through the groups.

The last way to organize a to do list is to :

Break It Down

This method works great for huge projects like the 10-12 page paper I mentioned earlier. It makes your to do list seem bigger but it makes the over all execution of it a lot easier.

To start take a huge project – a 10-12 page paper for example, and try to break it down into at least 3 smaller parts.

  • Thesis
  • Main Points
  • Conclusion

Then, break those into smaller parts

  • Thesis
    • Identity Crisis
    • Hamlet
    • Agamemnon/The Flies
  • Main Points
    • There is a similar identity crisis going on within Shakespeares Hamlet as there is in Orestes who is featured in both Agamemnom and The Flies.
    • Supernatural forces influence both Hamlet and Orestes
    • Madness?
  • Conclusion
    • Restate thesis and explain it in 1 paragraph

Just keep breaking it down into smaller and smaller portions that can be done over a time span. If you have a semi big project like a 5 page paper and not a lot of time then do something like this

  • Main thought/issue you want to talk about
    • sub idea/issue that relates to the main pont
  • Supporting evidence
    • quotes that support the supporting evidence
  • Conclusion

There you have it! Three ways to make your To-Do List a little more manageable. I know I’m not the best at this, but I’ve found that depending on what I’m working on I can always use at least one of these methods to get everything done, no matter how daunting my list seems to be.

If you have any other methods to add or try these methods and they work for you, leave me a comment and I’ll check it out!

Have a great day and good luck on conquering your to do list!

1QHAdjW

 

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