It is widely known that some of the most respected and successful people in the world are regular To Do list writers. They will admit that they wake up early or stay up late and review their list of priorities, re-prioritize and add to their lists before they even start/end their day. Why, you ask?
Here is a view of the GigaBook Online To Do List
A To Do list is another form of a business plan, whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or putting together a grocery list, you are providing yourself with a plan of action. You are keeping focus on the task at hand, and although interruptions (and temptations) will occur, you have set yourself up for success. The most effective To Do list makers have invested time, and sometimes money, into the right product to manage their (and their staff’s) lists. While there are many different platforms to help with your To Do lists, and ways to remind and keep you on track, the important part of all of this is being able to write an effective To Do list.
It may sound basic and unnecessary to discuss, but even the most basic of steps are important to reiterate and put into practice.
- Be clear and concise, whether you are handwriting your list or typing it, as to what the task is. Do not use short hand that only you will recognize if you expect to pass on the list to someone else.
- Prioritize your tasks and denote the top tasks with highlights or bold print.
- Group tasks based on proximity or similarity for faster completion. If there are several items that relate to each other, make sub-lists under a main topic within your To Do list.
- Give yourself a Due Date for tasks and hold yourself accountable.
- Set To Do lists for both work and home, and know that they may overlap.
- Be realistic with your time and delegate tasks when possible to distribute the workload.
By leveraging your organizational skills and prioritizing tasks, you are making it easier to overcome procrastination, increasing your productivity while receiving the highest return on investment for your time. Planning and prioritizing your day and the tasks in it can decrease your execution time in the long run, saving money, frustration and wasted time. It has been shown that by knowing the priority of your tasks, productivity can be increased by up to 25%.
It is also important and effective use of your time over the long term to keep track of tasks that you want to complete not just today, but over the next week, month or year. This means that you do not have to only have the one list that changes daily, but keep multiple lists. And apply the same rules to those future To Do lists as you do to the one you are writing for today. Prioritize and organize all of your lists, and mark tasks completed, continued or undone. Move tasks from day-to-day or week-to-week, while still reprioritizing, to make sure that they are addressed. Some tasks may be completed over a long period of time or may be daily so they are never removed or completed from your list.
At the end of the day, using your time in the most effective way is important, can save you and your company time and money, and will decrease procrastination. Time management skills and effective To Do list writing are two common traits of highly effective people. Making a plan and itemizing the steps it takes to complete that plan, no matter how big or small, are important to your productivity and sanity. Whether you choose to write your list in a notebook that you carry in your purse or have a computer program that you prefer, just get in the habit of writing down all of the things you need to achieve in a given time frame. And then reward yourself for sticking to your list and achieving your goals. Life is busy and we are pulled in many directions, by accounting for all of our tasks we are able to manage our time more wisely and distribute our energy accordingly.