Heidi Grant Halvorson explains a particular strategy called if-then planning:
The trick is to not only decide what you need to do, but to also decide when andwhere you will do it, in advance. The general format of an if-then plan looks like this:
If (or When) ___________ occurs, then I will ________________.
When it’s 3 p.m. today, then I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and work on that project.
If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I’ll go to the gym before work.
If it’s Tuesday morning, then I will check in with all my direct reports.
This technique is also called implementation intention, a planning strategy that helps automate a desired action with cues and context.
Read the science behind making to-do lists for more details and strategies like implementation intention to help you become a to-do list master!