Make your to-do list even better

You may think that a to-do list is a to-do list and there is absolutely nothing you can do to make it more useful. You might be wrong.

Compiling a list of general to-dos is a great place to start—but that’s it. It’s just a start, and you may find yourself staring at each item, wondering exactly how to tackle it. Rather than create a laundry list of items to complete, also apply “The Next-Step Method” to your to-do list, recommends Todd Henry, author and creator of the Accidental Creative podcast.

Advice: Each time you add a to-do to your list, also write down the first step you must take to complete it. Be ultra-specific about what that next step is. Writing an action item down in advance ensures that you know exactly where to start, so you don’t waste time figuring it out when you are ready to cross off items on your list.

— Adapted from “Do This One Thing to Make Your To-Do List More Effective,” Fast Company,