You probably kept a to-do list before, or you still do, but chances are you don’t take advantage of its full potential. There is much more behind the art of task managing than a simple enumeration of what you need to do in the first hours of a noisy Monday.
From organizing work-related stuff, daily commitments, on-spot promises to friends and family members and more, everything should have a place on your to-do list.
And you are lucky because we gathered everything you need to know, so you can start building a life-changing to-do list. Believe us, implementing our valuable tips below will clear out all the chaos in your life and take you one huge step closer to your goals and dreams.
Benefits of keeping a to-do list
First of all, let’s take a short look at how exactly does a properly written daily schedule affect your life.
Just the simple act of having a schedule will make you more likely to stick to your daily work assignments and your usual errands. You’ll find yourself doing a lot more during the day than you normally do.
Also, those lazy days will be gone too because you have to respect your to-do list. And remember, it’s fine if you don’t complete all your set activities in a day, but if you don’t try your best, you will get nowhere.
The greatest obstacles to soaring productivity are distractions. Therefore, reducing them to the lowest amount possible is a humongous improvement. Here, your to-do list comes extremely handy. The key is to focus on the activity you had scheduled on your list and not keep thinking about what you have to do.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it’s called the present.”Master Oogway – Kung Fu Panda
Grows your motivation for the day
With a list waiting for you to complete it every day, you will feel pumped up almost all the time. Finishing your tasks is a daily challenge and if you complete most of them, you will see major growth. Over time, your efforts will translate into outstanding results.
Moreover, seeing how useful to-do lists are and reaping the rewards out of them will motivate you even when you’re in your grumpiest state.
Improves your memory
With all those tasks out of the way — they are on your to-do list, aren’t they? — your mind will be able to focus on other things. Why load your neurons with stuff that your to-do list can store in a fresh and organized manner.
How to finish all the tasks on your to-do list
We all have those moments, especially in the middle of the day, when we’re trying to figure out what to do next. And that’s because we have so many things to think of that we enter in a conflicting state.
What should I do now? Should I start that 2000 words essay…but wait a minute, I’ve got to deliver these reports in two hours… oh, and this body isn’t getting any better if I skip the gym the fifth time this week! See what I mean?
But guess who comes like a knight wearing shiny armor and sets you free of all this fuss. You guessed it: your to-do list. Whether you keep it on a piece of paper or a task managing app, the list should feature all your daily assignments in a well-organized manner. A few useful apps are Google Calendar, Trello and Evernote.
1. Write your to-do list in the early morning
To turn your to-do list into a “helpful friend” and not transform it into your enemy, you have to put in some tiny bit of work every day. But, believe me, it’s all worth it.
“There is a rule that every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. The time you take to think on paper about something you need to accomplish before you begin work, will give you a return on personal energy of 1000% – ten minutes saved for every minute that you invest in planning your work in the first place.”Brian Tracy, author of the book “Time Management”
This being said, prioritize writing up your to-do list as one of the first things you do every morning. Don’t start the day before you put it together.
2. Make multiple lists
As busy human beings, we are involved in a wide variety of activities and if we were to cram them up in a single list, we would be lost. That is why you need a master-list and a few related to-do lists.
The master-list should be used for writing your long-term goals, like building your business to a certain level, obtaining that dream job, acquiring a new skill or learning a new language.
The other lists should be more granular. Most of them should help you get closer to your long-term goals listed on the master-list. For example: a list with your daily chores, one with work assignments, one with what you need to study this week and so on. And don’t forget to name them appropriately.
3. Don’t crowd your to-do lists
Now, you don’t want to have lists bigger than 7-8 tasks. Getting over that milestone will often look overwhelming, so make your lists and, if you find it too long, slice it up.
4. Start the day with easy tasks
Generally, you want to tackle the most important tasks of the day in the morning, but accomplishing quick tasks like brushing your teeth, taking a shower or making your bed will kickstart your day like nothing else. You will build momentum and feel ultra-productive.
5. Big goals need a lot of small goals
We all have those dreams that seem unattainable, don’t we? But isn’t everything impossible at the beginning?
Think about everything you accomplished. Each ability you acquired, each achievement, each relationship was built on small steps. How did you learn to ride a bicycle? How did you learn that foreign language? What about the steps to obtaining that job? It’s all about breaking big goals into small ones.
6. Set attractive tasks on your to-do list
Last but not least, you want to make all your tasks approachable. That means you need to accompany them with as much information as possible. For example, let’s say that you need to apply for a job. Write all the small steps that we talked about alongside this task. You’ll see that you will be far more likely to get things moving.
To wrap it up, if you time your to-do list crafting well, order your tasks properly and make them appealing, you will maximize your productivity and motivation while also creating more room in your brain’s attic.