Most people know that a to-do list is very important. But far from everyone is using to-do lists. Maybe because they think that such a simple tool can not make a big difference. But don’t be deceived, despite being very simple, a to-do list is a very good way of increasing your productivity. Here is an overview how to create a to-do list.
You should create a to-do list every day. The daily to-do list is based on what you want to achieve during the current week. Write down all tasks that should be done today. Some big tasks may require a lot of time. Try to break down large tasks into several smaller tasks, which can be completed within one or two hours.
Once you have written down all the tasks, it is time to prioritize them. It is best to keep the number of priority groups low. For example, use three different groups. Tasks that have to be done today, are classified as A tasks. Tasks that should be done today but are not as important as the A tasks are classified as B tasks. The remaining tasks can be classified as C tasks. Additional priority groups seldom add any value.
In order to keep the daily to-do list reasonably short, it is important to delete tasks that are neither important, nor urgent. Don’t be afraid of removing tasks from your daily list. Make sure that your list only contain tasks that are brings you closer to your goals.
Once all tasks have been assigned priorities, it is best to rewrite the list in priority order. Start working on the most urgent or most import A task. Once it has been completed move on to the next A task. Don’t be tempted to work on an easy C task before you have completed all A and B tasks on your list. The whole idea with a prioritized to-do list is to make sure that you always work on the task with the highest priority.
If you manage to complete all tasks on your list, well done. But often, some tasks have not been completed. If you have worked on your A tasks first and then on you B tasks, the tasks that were not completed are C tasks. This means that you managed to get the important and urgent things done today, not bad. The C tasks can wait till tomorrow.
It may be tempting to put a lot of tasks on your to-do list. But having a long to-do list can be counter-productive. You realize just by looking at the huge list that you will not be able to complete all tasks. This is discouraging and often means that very little gets achieved. It is much better to limit your daily to-do list to tasks that can all be completed if you have a good day.
One important thing to remember is that one size does not fit all. Do not be afraid of experimenting to find the to-do list format that suits you best.