To Do List

Create a To Do List: Increase Productivity & Get things Done

4 Min Read
Create a To Do List: Increase Productivity & Get things Done

A day can get away from you without even realising it. One minute you are planning which chores to tackle first and the next it’s lunchtime, and you haven’t finished a third of your tasks. At the end of the day, you are wondering how you can squeeze a few extra hours in to complete your work. Without proper organisation, meeting objectives is almost impossible.

One way to sort out your day is to create a to do list. What is a todo list and how can it help you become more productive? Planning all the activities that you have to tackle then handling them in order can save you a lot of time and stress while focusing on priorities. To-do lists are some of the simplest productivity tools.

However, you have to use them correctly to enjoy any real benefits. A hurriedly made checklist can end up wasting your day rather than organising it.

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The Makings of a Good To-Do List

How do you make a to-do list that really works? If you are to craft an effective daily to do list, you should know what a good one looks likes.

Length: For one, it should be the right length. A checklist that is too short leaves you with time on your hands that could be useful on other tasks. If the list contains too many items, you will struggle to handle everything, and that can compromise productivity. When deciding on the number of tasks to include on a list, consider their complexity and the time they take. You can have between five and eight tasks.

Balance: Balance your to-do list. Your day must contain important activities and others that are not too vital. Both types need your attention. It’s tempting to fill your list with critical or objective-oriented tasks only. However, neglecting the responsibilities that are not too crucial can end up ruining your efficiency. If you ignore too many of these tasks, they can pile up and take more time than necessary. Therefore, include all kinds of activities on your checklist.

Flexible: An actionable to-do list should be flexible. As much as you want to accomplish particular goals, have backup plans for when things don’t work out. If for some reason, you can’t tackle a task, you should be able to adjust your schedule.

Create a To Do List That Gets Work Done

If a to-do is to serve you well, use the following tricks to make it as productive as possible.

Organisation: Create a to do list the night before. Going through a checklist in the morning can distract you and waste precious time. Preparing it the night before allows you to mentally prepare for the duties that you have to take on. Try the Ivy Lee Method (created by Ivy Lee), where you pick six tasks in a day and tackle them in order of priority.

Priorities: Put the most important tasks first, Eat the frog, Eisenhower Decision Matrix or 1-3-5 rule to identify your key tasks. As the day progresses, your energy levels fall, and your decision-making capacity deteriorates. You want to make certain that you can still make critical decisions while fresh. Identify activities by their importance and list them accordingly.

Division: Divide big tasks into small activities that are easier to handle. A large task can more time than it should due to poor organisation. Bite-sized bits are more manageable. Tackling small tasks allows you to track progress.

Batching: If your list consists of similar tasks, batch them. Doing this minimises the time spent on the checklist. Evaluate your activities and see if some of them require the same skills and resources. Batching tasks will help you tick more items off the list in a day.

Time Management: Before getting started on your to-do list and starting to create a to do list, know if you can finish it. For that, you should set a time limit for every task. Allocate a reasonable amount of time for every item to avoid wastage.

Collaboration: Can task items be delegated to another member of the team? Can you allocate the responsibility of the task to someone else who might be able to achieve the best results faster?

With a to-do list, you don’t have to worry about forgetting tasks. A checklist ensures that you can prioritise responsibilities and give them the rightful attention. Take the time to create a to do list that meets your needs.

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