I am one who uses the ‘to-do’ list extensively. I have learnt it from so many successful people who have used it in the past. Based on the years of using it and getting things done, here are some tips for everyone to consider:
- Ensure that your list contains all types of activities – important, urgent, projects, communications, calls, meetings, etc
- They are ideally better to be maintained date-wise. So it must tell you what needs to be done on a particular day.
- Let activities on your list be specific. This is to ensure that you can ‘tick-off’ once done (for this you must know when it is done).
- The list must be accessible at all times. This is to ensure that you can get things done whenever you get some time. It also helps schedule time to complete tasks.
- Its always preferable to make the list every night for the next day.
- Don’t drop activities once they get on the list. Take them forward to their logical ends.
This is not an exhaustive list, but may be a good one to start. The benefit behind lists is that they kind of give you a feeling of being on top of things. They give you a positive encouragement every time you ‘tick-off’ an item on the list. They also ensure that you know what is actually getting done.
If you maintain a list initially for a few days, you will realize some patterns:
- you have more time than you estimated to get things done
- you seem to be always passing some important activities for urgent ones
- almost all activities you do are urgent ones (they were important some time in the past but were not done then)
- THE BIGGEST OF ALL: You seem to be keeping the most important activity of yours (the one closest to heart) perennially on the list.
Try making lists and you will within days realize the power of this simple tool for yourself. If you have stories to share if your experiences with ‘to-do’ lists (positive and negative) please share – it will help everyone!