Nothing sounds quite as easy as writing a to-do list…after all, isn’t it all about putting down everything you ought to be doing on the next day and boom-let the productivity begin! Nonetheless, if you have tried writing a to-do list before and found it to be anything but easy, then you may need one or several of the following techniques to make your to-do list much more effective. This is especially if you are running a small business as efficiency is necessary to boost overall productivity and success of the company.
To guide you through, here are several tips which help you write a better to-do list and subsequently make an essential difference for your overall productivity.
1. Start with a paper and pen
Yes, as hard as it is to believe, a paper usually holds you more accountable compared to an app. A written piece of paper containing your to-do list provides you with physical proof of an item/project you have skipped through the day. Essentially, whether you dispose of the paper or even cross it out, it will still be there.
What’s more, a paper and pen is not anything that we routinely make use of anymore and is typically something different from what we are used to. It is this newness that will not only psych your brain and prepare it to meet your business targets.
2. Make it appealing
Back to the earlier point, when it comes to pen and paper, not just any typical pen or paper will do. Usually, when writing our to-do lists, it is not uncommon to use some old, basic notebook. However, this never really ends well as we end up not ever using it. Why? It is not inspiring, and opening the boring notebook only invites boredom.
Alternatively, you can purchase a bunch of colorful pens and a nice-looking planner. This way, anytime you are looking to start your activities, you will feel excited to open it. Use different stickers, drawings, colors-but always ensure its pleasing to you!
3. Be practical
Just like with your business goals, if you are looking to boost your productivity, you must be realistic. While it would be amazing to accomplish all your tasks at once and take the extra days off, it would definitely be better both for your health and mental state to practically decide on what to do the next day and what you cannot do.
For instance, if you are trying to beat the deadlines for the submission of your college essays, rather than attempt to finish all of them at once, you can enquire about online freelance writing by typing something like ‘how to find someone to write my essay for me’ on your webpage and hire professional assistance. This way, you can realistically accomplish all your assignments and still guarantee quality work.
As such, if you have a massive ongoing business project, divide it into several sub-tasks, and then work them out one after the other. By doing this, you not only simplify your task, but you will also feel way better to see four crossed out tasks rather than a massive one still waiting to be done.
4. Plan for your breaks
Typically, like with our bodies, our brains function better when well-rested and refreshed. Imagine what would happen if you decided to jog endlessly without stopping, wouldn’t you certainly wind up in a hospital? If so, then why give your brain a different treatment?
In the current era, our attention and focus have been significantly shortened by our reliance on modern technologies. And even if this were not the case, we wouldn’t expect them to continue forever! As such, carefully plan your rests also, but be practical.
You understand yourself better, and you are, therefore, aware of precisely how long your focus lasts before you start to slow down or even make mistakes. Nonetheless, don’t force it, either. Plan your rest time in accordance with how long you have been working. For instance, if you work for an hour, you can set aside a break of 20 minutes.
5. Write both the task and the time
One other factor that hinders productivity when writing to-do lists is failing to write down when every job starts and ends. It encourages procrastination. To boost productivity, it is essential that you also write down time frames for your to-do tasks. This inspires you to try and beat the deadlines for all your tasks, subsequently making your business more productive.
If you are uncertain about the amount of time you need to accomplish a task, afford it several more minutes, but ensure you will not get stressed for lacking adequate time. Moreover, once you achieve it in advance, jot down the duration it took and allocate a similar amount of time for the next day.
With the extra time, utilize it for more rest or to begin your next task in advance. This way, you can cross your whole to-do list faster than you anticipated.
6. Start small
Lastly, no matter how busy your business is, your day’s first task need not be a long project that takes a lot of time to complete. If you can complete several tasks, notwithstanding how little, you will be feeling more motivated and energized to cross out the rest of your tasks.
Nonetheless, be sure not to go overboard! All the breaks and tasks need to be approximately equal. Be sure to include both in your planner.
For such a simple item, there are numerous ways a to-do list can be complicated. However, if writing down your business tasks every morning isn’t really getting you to achieve your goals, be sure to try any of these few techniques to not only refocus your business task list but also boost your productivity.
Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer who knows that time management and planning is everything. He is also a personal development coach. Now he continues his research to learn more about productivity strategies and share his knowledge with the audience.