To-do lists are the most popular and widely used time management strategy and essential productivity technique adopted by many successful entrepreneurs and business owners. It is even a great way to achieve your own personal goals. However, not just any to-do list will do. Each to-do list you make must be designed appropriately and strategically to be successful.
Here are six tips and tricks to implement when developing an effective to-do list:
Tip #1: Choose the Right Medium
Choose the proper medium you enjoy, such as paper, a phone application, or simply a word document. What you pick doesn’t matter as long as you understand it and enjoy the process to inspire your creativity and get you working. The medium you choose only frustrates you or has a high learning curve. It won’t be helpful.
Tip #2: Use Your Schedule to Guide Your Day
Before you make a list, look at your schedule. Do you have any important meetings or assignments that must get done first? For your to-do list to be effective, use these times or important objectives to guide you. Therefore, don’t make a to-do list for a goal that requires more of your time if you know you will be interrupted.
Tip #3: Make It Clear and Precise
Don’t use too many words or go overboard with the tasks. While breaking it down is necessary to highlight the actions required, you can go overboard and overwhelm yourself. Be a realist and make it scannable.
Tip #4: Make Deadline or Time Limits
For each task on your to-do list, make time requirements or schedule deadlines and add it to your calendar. This way, it becomes a commitment, and you won’t forget about it either.
Tip #5: Limit Your Daily Tasks
Remember being busy doesn’t mean you are productive. In other words, you don’t want to break it down so much that each and every little task is highlighted. This can overwhelm you and require too much time to set up in the first place. Highlight the most important information such as times and what exactly needs to be done. You don’t need to include every time you might go to the bathroom, for example.
Tip #6: Add Ways to Keep Track of Your Progress
Seeing the work that you finished is a great way to motivate yourself to get even more done. This way, you can get yourself back on track if you notice you are not getting the work done.
As long as you make your list clear, direct, time-driven, and aligned with your goals, you’ll improve your productivity exponentially.