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Daily To Do List: the Best Tool for Success

Calling all procrastinators! 

Here is the best tool to get you on track:  the DAILY TO DO LIST.

Set up a daily time management ritual, and stick to it, and you will improve your success in school and life.

I’m going to bet you’ll see better marks, among various improvements, immediately!

Preparation is key to effective learning skills, and when you prepare well for anything in your life, you will accomplish more.

I dare you to try this:

As you “retire” for the day, practice a daily ritual (routine) YOU create. 

Make a plan, and get organized for the next day of your life.

In your preparation, you create intention to accomplish more.

Here’s a breakdown of the most important steps for a nighttime ritual:


  • Using your agendas (for month and week), look at the specific tasks you must complete during your next day. Make a jot note list of these things. You can use a pad of paper, a sticky note – whatever you like.

  • Include assignment deadlines and test dates – how much time you need to designate to working on those subjects? Jot it down.

  • Add the tasks you’ve got to do: extra-curricular activities, social commitments, workouts, pet care, and so on. Add them to your list.Don’t forget other personal needs such as banking or registrations and appointments. Jot everything down.

  • You now have your Daily to Do List. You know what you need to get done! 

  • Prioritize your tasks. Consider which tasks are the top priorities, and order them.

Get your stuff ready. Get it out, pack it, lay it out.

  • What clothing do you need for the next day? Are you doing a fitness workout, sport, or other activity? What do you need for that? 

  • Personal hygiene: when can you shower? And so on. Plan all the details.

  • Food needs? Make your lunch if you can. Even set up the morning tea or coffee pot, so you can be on auto pilot after your morning alarm goes off.

  • Pack your backpack and organize all the things you need for the day. (You will be so happy with yourself tomorrow morning!)

  • When you prepare life this, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything in your morning grogginess.  This process may even permit a few more minutes of slumber!

Set up reminder alerts on your smart phone.

  • Using a Reminder app, set alarms on your smart phone, with reminders of things you need to do at designated times.

  • For example: in the morning, you may need to pick up your neighbour on the way to school, or, later in the day, you may have to make a phone call.  Set the reminder alert for  the time to make that contact.  This way, you can’t forget, and, you don’t have to worry about trying to remember these tasks.

Visualize. It may sound strange, but visualization is a powerful part of daily preparation.

  • Imagine yourself participating in the next day’s activities. Think positively.

  • Envision success, accomplishment, contentment – whatever it is you want to accomplish and experience tomorrow, think of your future self, and all outcomes, in this way. This will set your intention.

Find time for relaxation.

  • Make sure you have time to do leisure activities every day. Do things you enjoy, even if you only have a bit of time.  When you block it in advance, you’re making it a priority.

  • Eat the frog! Make sure to block off time to get the tough stuff done (and the things you dread the most) ahead of more enjoyable (and preferred) things. Practice delayed gratification!  You’ll accomplish more, and enjoy your free time more.


  • Try to get to bed at a consistent time every night.

  • Target 8 hours for your night’s sleep minimum.

  • Research shows that adolescents require 8 hours sleep, daily, as a bare minimum. Ideally, teens need 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

  • Avoid caffeine for many hours before you plan to sleep, so you don’t have difficulty falling asleep, and so it doesn’t prevent high quality sleep.

I urge you to start this daily ritual before you go to bed! 

And don’t forget to reflect on the day you just completed. Cross off all the stuff you knocked off your day’s list — and commend yourself for all the stuff you accomplished. 

Way to go!

For more information about Time Management strategies and how to include the daily to do list with other key strategies, check here. If you want one-on-one time management coaching, contact me!  Check out the details here.


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