Increase your productivity with a To-Do List
Get more Done
Using a To-Do List
How can you benefit from using a to-do list?
By starting a to-do list and keeping your list current you can cut out your distractions. You are more focused because your thinking and efforts are not interrupted by all the things you need to do. You no longer need to stop what you are doing because all the other things you need to do distract you.
You become more effective by knowing what you need to do. You get more efficient by recognizing the days most important tasks. You are better equipped to approach the day because you have your ends in mind. As you complete items on your list and cross them off you can see your forward motion and can build momentum with each accomplishment. Results equal more accomplishments and greater success.
Before you start your to-do list
Lets get clear. What is a to-do list? A to-do list consists of a number of physical actions. These actions are atomic they cannot be broken down into smaller steps. Multi-action tasks are projects. The individual steps, which all together make up a project, are the stuff of a to-do list. When creating your to-do list use action verbs to describe the action in the individual items. Be as specific and concrete as possible. ‘Contact Jeff about game on Saturday’ is not as good as ‘Call Jeff about game on Saturday’ or ‘email Jeff about game on Saturday’ depending of course on how you plan to contact Jeff.
This is the collection phase.
Begin listing actions that you need to do today or in the next several days. Write these down in the order they occur to you. This is your master Action or master to-do list. There is no need to list routine items like eat lunch, or get dressed. For projects, be as detailed as needed to break the project down into simple easily defined actions. Make these items to the point and easy to visualize. Be complete write down all the things you need to do.
On going the Review phase.
Read over your master list distinguishing the most important tasks. Make a second pass over the list and mark the urgent items. Add these items to your current to-do list. Mark them as important, urgent or both. Try to keep this list reasonably short. To many items are overwhelming. But, don’t overlook significant actions. As things you need to do occur to you add them to your master action list. Review your master list and your to-do list daily. The end of the day or the start of the day is best for most people. Cross off actions when complete and give yourself a small pat on the back. Find a way to note action items during your daily life, maybe your smart phone or just a notebook or slip of paper. Whatever works for you? Later add these items to your master list.
Get started today. Your first item is to start a to-do list.
You gain focus, by writing down all of your to-dos you avoid trying to remember all the things you need to do. You get more efficient by knowing what you need to do, you get more effective because you know what is most important, and you grow more satisfied by checking items off your list as when completed.