How to create a to-do list that works?
To-do lists are an integral part of a working professional’s routine. An entrepreneur, manager, or a trainee needs to build a to-do list which can help them accomplish the tasks in a day.
Without planning your day, you may not know how and where to channelize your energy and efforts during an entire day. In fact, working randomly without a to-do list can be a scary job as you have no clue where it would lead you.
But the real challenge lies in building a to-do list which helps you to complete all your important tasks. In this article, you will read about ways to build an effective to-do list.
“Build a killer by keeping a daily to-do list for all important tasks. Start using ProofHub.”
Keep it simple
Yes, having a simple to-do list is the key to accomplish your goals peacefully. Don’t overload your to do list with huge stuff. As an entrepreneur, even if you put a single task on your to-do list that would be enough to take your business forward.
Similarly, as a manager you should build a simple to do list comprising of three to four tasks for a day. This will help you put in your best efforts for completing those tasks in time. Also, this keeps your mind free of clutter and unnecessary stress.
Write it Down
Many of us have the habit of keeping a lot of stuff in our minds. This not only makes us forget a lot of important things but also builds stress.
Recently, I found this article which says that people remember things easily by writing. This is true. I am at ease when I write down things I want to do which can be even paying bills or taking my car for service.
This can seem to be simple but is highly important. Creating your to do list in written will help you follow it ardently.
Create Next Day’s To Do list in the last 10 minutes of the Day
I know that the last ten minutes of the day are fully loaded with work and the anxiety to leave the office. But if you use these last 10 minutes carefully then you can be well-prepared for the next day.
I know you can’t even imagine to find time to plan your next day in the last 10 minutes. However, I am sure you can well imagine how peaceful would be your next day at work. We waste a lot of precious morning hours to plan and create a to-do list for the day. Doing this, an evening before will save you a lot of time and help you to begin your day with clarity.
Start with the first thing on your to-do list
It is recommended to start working on first thing on your to-do list while you are afresh in the morning. The first thing on the to-do list is the most important and the biggest task. Completing this will give you a lot of confidence and keep your enthusiasm high to continue doing your work.
So, if you plan your day an evening before(as mentioned in the previous point) and start off your day with the highest priority task then your day is all set to be perfect. Also, remember that you must begin working on the most important task before you read your emails, answer messages on your smartphones, or check your social media accounts. Utilizing the first hour of the day effectively fulfills the purpose of your to-do list.
Having a Hard Time Limiting your To Do List to Three Items?
I know you must be thinking that having only three items on your todo list is next to being crazy. In fact, when I told my team members to do so they were simply awestruck. Most of them had the same question in their mind,” There are a lot of things to be done in a day, how is it possible to cut short the to do list to just three things?”.
Your to do list is going to be overloaded if you are using it as a memory aid. On the other hand, if your aim of building a to do list is accomplishing tasks it would definitely have fewer tasks. If you put a careful attention, there are a fewer tasks which are actually to be done during a day. Even researches have revealed that having less number of tasks in a to do list is the technique to build a doable to do list.
You don’t have to worry if you aren’t able to build a short to do list. If your mind is always worried about other tasks and you are never able to complete tasks mentioned in your to do list, then here’s trick for you.
Create a Dump List!
Before you begin to set tasks for a day, take five minutes and pen down everything that comes to your mind which you can think you can do in a day or in the entire week.
Now, this is your dump list and not to do list. There is a fine line difference between the two. Your to-do list will have 1–3 most important tasks which you even know. It’s just that you are caught up in worry and anxiety of doing a lot of things.
Now, re-focus and build a todo list again. This time you will be better off with the result. If you continue to have trouble then look at the data dump list again. Remember, worrying is futile. Take action!
I hope the above points will help you to build an achievable to-do list and improve your productivity at workplace. If there are any other relevant ways in which we can create a doable to-do list, feel free to share them as comments below.
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Originally published at LinkedIn.com
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Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016 & 2017. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.
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