In today’s fast-paced life, juggling between work, kids, house chores, errands and social activities can be both daunting and tiring. It's a constant battle between not getting things mixed up and actually making through the entire list of things.
The secret to staying at the top of your game? A to-do list which is thoughtfully and strategically planned to help organize everything. In fact, you will be glad to know that this is one of the habits of highly productive people.
Of course, it's easier said than done. Having a to-do list alone isn’t enough. Keep on reading to learn the effective ways to be more productive through a to-do list.
Digital App or the Traditional Paper?
It depends on every individual to decide between jotting down your tasks using an app on the smartphone or using a piece of paper. You could even opt for sticky notes, a whiteboard or even a notice board.
Digital to-do lists are easy to use and highly systematic. The best part is most of them come with built-in reminders prompting you when it is nearing the due date. You can sort your tasks by priority and make different buckets for each category. Here are some digital apps that you can download to get started with your to-do list.
Make Multiple Lists
A single list is definitely insufficient when it comes to the best and most efficient to-do list. Instead, it should be a combination of a few different lists. Categorize your to-do lists by work, personal, family and others. Multiple lists allow you to focus better as you would not want to mix up your household chores and your work tasks and vice versa - when you are at home, you do not want to be thinking of your office tasks.
To begin with, list down every single task on your mind. You can delete those that are not useful to you later. Use the list below as an idea to create your own.
- Project submission
- Grocery shopping
- Social events
These lists are personal to you. Hence, feel free to edit, write, rewrite the lists where you see fit.
Add On Your Tasks as Soon as It Arises
Make it a point to update your to-do list as soon as you discover any new task. This way your list is up to date and you will never miss anything. If you are using an app, make sure to download it on your smartphone or tablet so it's easily accessible. When using a piece of paper, keep a sticky note next to you to jot down your tasks as they arise. At the end of the day, you can simply transfer them all to the master list.
Keep Your List Simple
One of the top tips for being productive is simplicity. Keep your to-do lists clear and concise rather than a lengthy long-winded one. Define each category bucket specifically to ensure you can search for the to-do list easily.
Pro-Tip: Keep each task to be a maximum of five to six words.
Assign Specific Due Date
Due dates are paramount when it comes to prioritizing your list. Most tasks should have a due date as to when you should have them concluded. You will be indirectly planning your entire week or month with these due dates which is a great time management strategy - talk about a WIN-WIN situation!
Review Your To-Do List On A Daily Basis
Take some time to look at your to-do list daily. Scrap those that are not needed anymore, strikethrough those that are completed and add on new daily tasks. Do not forget to schedule some personal time in your daily to-do list. Having short breaks during your day can help you power through your list more efficiently.
Limit Yourself to 3-5 Tasks Daily
If you have too many tasks assigned to yourself daily, you are only setting yourself to fail. Some days you can handle more easier tasks and there will be days you are only able to complete 3 big tasks. Keep the tasks and due dates realistic and attainable. Over time you will be able to gauge how many tasks you can complete in a day. As you gain more experience in creating to-do lists, you will learn your pattern and boost your productivity.
At Lion File, we hope that these simple tips for a better to-do list brings some ease into your life. We supply all sorts of office supplies and stationeries to keep your to-do list updated!