How To Create A To-Do List That Super Boosts Your Productivity
It always seems that there are never enough hours in the day! Going from meeting to meeting, doing actual work, fulfilling family obligations, plus fitting in a little “me” time is a lot to do, let alone to think about. There has to be a better way to organize yourself. Luckily, there is. For years now, people have been creating a to-do list to stay organized. It seems so simple, but one must remember that there is a difference between creating a to-do list and executing on it.
Want to get everything on your to-do list completed by the end of the day? Here’s how to create a to-do list that super boosts your productivity.
Is your calendar too full?
Before you begin writing down the first task you need to take care of, go through your calendar and see what’s eating up your time. You may find you have listed a time-consuming task that you rarely do. If you are in a book club and take evening pottery classes, you may need to consider giving up one of those activities you don’t participate much in. Looking at it on your list, never get marked complete, can have a mental effect on you and make you feel unproductive.
Take your time planning your list
Once you’ve sorted out activities that you need to do and want to do, plan your list carefully. For this, isolate yourself in your home, or go somewhere else to zero in on what you need to accomplish in a day/week/month. Take at least 15 minutes to focus on the tasks you want to complete. It’s easy to list all your tasks in one day, but be realistic. Will that meeting at work go long and interfere with painting the bathroom after you come home? If your meetings typically go longer, move painting the bathroom to another day where you have less going on.
Define tasks in detail
When planning out your to-do list, detail the event of each task versus leaving it open-ended. Be as precise as you can be knowing all the components needed to complete before you can mark the entire tasks as done. Say you have an upcoming presentation at work where you’ll need to have a PowerPoint presentation ready. Rather say, “PowerPoint for presentation,” define each component needed to create that PowerPoint; research, copy, diagrams, illustrations, stock images, and making physical copies for the group. This technique also works when you find yourself adding multiple tasks to your to-do list that can fit under one umbrella.
Put your most important tasks at the top of the list to ensure that they get done first. Similarly, give tasks that you are dreading priority. This way, you know to give theses tasks an ample amount of time to complete. Giving them a good conservative estimate on how long they’ll take to finish will help plan out the rest of your to-do list.
Track reoccurring tasks
Knowing how much time a task takes helps with planning a to-do list that super boosts your productivity. Say you have a monthly report you need to create to present at the end of the month. Keep track of how long it takes to complete the job for future use. Sometimes the same project will take longer or shorter, depending on the circumstance. In our example of the monthly report, some months may be busier than others, and reports will take longer to create. Use this information to plan a to-do list that continues to maintain productivity.
To-do list apps
Pen and paper work great for making to-do lists, but to create a to-do list that super boosts your productivity, you’ll want to download an app. There are a lot of timers and task tracking apps that automate the process a lot easier. Plus, you’ll have access to it on any device that supports that app. Here is a list of a few of our favorite productivity apps:
Something else you should put on your to-do list is to sign up for Iris Reading’s Personalized Productivity course. In this course, we teach professionals how to make more time in their day using time management techniques, avoid procrastination, and stop wasting time in meetings. Click the link to find out more today!