Are you trying to decide between keeping a to-do list or a schedule but not sure which one you need? Are you wondering if you need both? Each have their benefits, their pros and cons, and different ways to help you but together they may be the perfect combination.
To-Do List vs. Schedule: Should I keep one or both?
To decide which one is best for you, let’s go over the purpose of each and how they may be able to work together. Comparing the pros and cons between the two we will see if it’s better that you choose one or another, or both.
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To-do lists are a great way to focus on everything you need to get done. They are a very popular way to keep track of what we need to do when we are busy. As much as we love making to-do lists, they do have their pros and cons.
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Pros of a to-do list
With to-do lists, you can organize your tasks by importance and manage your time based on which tasks need to be done first.
Another pro of a to-do list is that they are easy to make and you can quickly jot down an idea or something that needs to be done when you think of it.
When you get a job or task completed, you can mark it off your to do list. Not only will this give you hope that you can get the rest of it done, but you will also get that feeling of accomplishment.
Cons of a to-do list
One of the biggest problems with to-do lists is that they can quickly get out of control. As you think of something that needs to be done, you add it to your to-do list and before you know it your list is overflowing with tasks.
It can be hard to stay organized at times and if you lose a to-do list, or don’t have it handy, you create a new one. This is a common trap that often leads to having multiple to-do lists in different locations.
The problem with having a long to-do list is that sooner or later the list is going to be daunting. When that list gets long, you may look at it and feel defeated and get discouraged with completing the tasks. You may push it aside and nothing gets done.
Another con of a to-do list is that you cannot account for the time that it takes to do the tasks. The list only shows you what needs done, not how much time it will take to complete it.
Schedules in the way of tasking is similar to a calendar. Just more detailed. Schedules allow you to keep track of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
Pros of a schedule
With a schedule, everything is in one place which means that you won’t have multiple pieces of paper or to-do lists to keep track of.
A schedule will help you keep track of when things need to be done. You can mark something down on the day it needs done so, when you look at your schedule, you can see how much time you have until the job needs to be done.
With a schedule, you can break up the tasks until you complete the job in its entirety. If you do not want to break up the tasks, you can set aside a chunk of time to complete a project.
Cons of a schedule
It can be harder to prioritize your tasks. When you schedule something, something more important may come up so you will need to change your schedule and work around your new priorities.
Putting something on your schedule may give it a sense of urgency which can stress you out if you start to run out of time.
With a schedule, you can’t really see how many things are left on your list which can cause problems when you need to prioritize the tasks.
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To-do List vs. Schedule vs. Keeping Both
Having either a to-do list or a schedule has its pros and cons, and they can both work well on their own if done right. But should you just stick with one or keep both? Is there a purpose to having both a to-do list and a schedule?
You could do a hybrid between the two and keep both a schedule and a to-do list. You can create a to-do list so that you know what needs to be done and a schedule to make sure you stay on track.
The schedule can take on the events that are dependent on a time or date. Your to-do list can be used for untimed actions. Using both together can help you from getting overwhelmed and from the two getting out of control.
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