“Organization is not about perfection. It is about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.”-Christina Scalise
Whether you are working in a chain of retail conglomerates or a startup internet marketing agency, you would have daily responsibilities you would need to take care of and keep in mind. To-do-lists may seem like a very outdated way to keep track on your day-to-day activities, but it is actually a useful navigating tool for everyday tasks. In one way or another, it blueprints what you ought to do for a particular day. Additionally, it helps people reach their long-term goals one day at a time. Keeping a to-do list might seem extraneous—especially if you have already established a daily routine that you religiously follow every single day, but committing to having a to-do-list would make sure you do not miss any important duties or responsibilities. A lot of individuals—especially the perpetually busy ones would keep a to-do-list at hand to help them sort out their day to day tasks. But having a to-do list would only take you so far—to make sure you have a seamless flurry of activity, it is imperative that you streamline and write an organized to-do list to better aid you in your daily endeavors, otherwise you would have a very chaotic list fraught with a myriad of activities that are not in any way related to each other.
You would find your grocery list jumbled in with your household chores, your long-term goals confused with your short-term ones and your work errands in complete disarray. As a result, your incoherent list will only run counter to your original objective, and instead of getting things accomplished by the end of the day, you will only be overwhelmed by the activities you have laid out before you. Keep in mind that to-do-lists are pivotal to productivity which means that they need to have a semblance of organization about them so that you can quickly follow it– jotting everything down in a single list would only be counterproductive. Fret not, however, as there are five techniques and suggestions as to how you can approach yours better, and see and decide for yourself which works best.
1.) Choose Your Method
In this digital age, there are various ways you can keep organized. Whether you prefer the classic and old-fashioned pen and paper way, keeping it in a document on your desktop, or have it anywhere with you as an app on your phone, it is essential to choose which method would work best for you. You need to make sure that the method you choose is not only easy to use, but is one you are comfortable with using as well. If you are using an app, the quicker you can add and remove tasks, the better as this would mean you would have more time to take care of them. Keep it simple and do not over-organize. You would still have to make sure you get the things enumerated in your to-do-list done after all.
2.) Stick to One Method
As there are a variety of ways to make you to-do list, it can be rather overwhelming to choose one. Additionally, leaving a lot of crumpled to-do lists on your desk can be tempting as well. But do not give into it. Sure, you may want to have separate methods for your to-do lists, but to keep better track of it, it is best to consolidate it in one to-do list and stick with that. If you have something that you should remember, add it to your one and only list. Do not jot it down wherever you wish and expect that it would be remembered.
3.) Put Tasks in Order of Importance
When you are inundated by many tasks, one way to make sure that they are attended to immediately is to learn how to prioritize them. Prioritize your tasks and put them in order of their importance and bump it to the very top of your list. Doing it this way will guarantee that important thing such as projects and tasks with deadlines do not get lost among the items contained in your lists. Arrange your tasks according to their importance and prioritize them well so that you would not have to scurry off at the last minute just because you have remembered an item in your list with a deadline.
4.) Keep Your List Short and Sweet
When it comes to doable and better-organized to-do lists, the word you should keep in mind is KISS, or “keep it short and straightforward.” Unless it would need complete attention, you should not dedicate a slot in your list for menial tasks. There is no absolute necessity to write down every single thing you have to do ever in your life and doing so will only make your list look like a confused mess and leave you so overwhelmed that nothing gets done. Just like how you do not want to have a cluttered email inbox, you would immediately be turned off by a to-do list with a seemingly endless list of tasks and activities to do. For a more manageable list, try to curtail your items to less than twenty items. As a result, you would not only have a more organized list, but a more manageable one as well.
5.) Break Down Larger Projects
If you jot down “Finish labor pleading” or “Buy a House” on your list, it would come off as vague and imprecise that you cannot expect to get it done. This is because larger projects have smaller logistics along the way that lumping them all together to form one task would make the project more overwhelming to do than it would be if you broke it down. Break these goals and huge projects into smaller and more manageable chunks, and they would not seem as ambiguous and as intimidating to do. Be explicit about the steps in you are to list in your to-do list as regards big projects. Instead of only writing “Work on the term paper,” jot down “Revise chapter 2-3 on term paper” for a more particular approach.
To-do lists are vital to productivity and having a cohesive, and organized one will help you better. Make sure that your simple to-do list will be transformed into an indispensable instrument for your everyday tasks by following the techniques shown above.