Are you using to-do lists throughout your day? If not, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful productivity tools out there.
It doesn’t matter if you use the old-fashioned notebook and pen, or a to-do list app on your phone.
There are three reasons why they work so well when it comes to keeping you productive all day long.
- you are forced to thinks about how you are going to organize your day
- lists help you to keep focused on the most important things in your life
- ticking off an item on your list gives you a feeling of accomplishment
To-Do Lists Make You Plan
When you sit down to make out your to-do list you’re forced to plan your day. You’re taking a look at everything you’re working on and deciding what you need to take care of today and in what order.
Depending on how you make out your list, you may even think about what items on your list have the highest priority.
The simple task of making the list makes you work out a lot of things in your head ahead of time. This alone will help you stay more productive throughout your day.
To-Do Lists Keep You Focused
Having that list in front of you, or next to you as you work away will help you stay focused on what you need to work on and accomplish throughout your busy day.
We are all dealing with distractions. It’s easy to lose focus and get sucked into meaningless tasks and conversations.
With your list you know at a glance what you should be working on and if you make yourself get into the habit of not calling it a day until each item on your list is taken care of, you’re less likely to allow those distractions to take over a big chunks of your day.
To-Do Lists Give You A Feeling Of Accomplishment
Checking off an item on your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment. For some, this is more effective when they can cross something off a piece of paper.
For others, clicking the little checkmark on the app does the trick. Try them both and see what works best for you.
Take a moment to appreciate how much you’ve gotten done each time you check an item on the list. Then use that feeling of accomplishment to power you through the next item.
Rinse and repeat and before you know it, you’ve made it through another highly productive day.
If you’re not in the habit of using daily to-do lists yet, I hope this encourages you to give it a serious try.
Try making a list of five things you want to get done before you call it a night today. See how that goes and then get in the habit of working from a daily list starting tomorrow morning.
Lists are Great But!
I love a list and I have items I check off each day in order for me to be as productive as possible.
I also have items on my list that include personal goals like playing the ukulele and exercise. In fact, everything I feel I need to live a healthy productive life.
My list however has an end. What you need to avoid at all costs is the long never-ending list that in all honesty just won’t ever be finished.
If your list is more than 20 items long please take time to edit it. Concentrate on the most important items in your life.
Here is a picture of my daily to-do list. This contains the most important tasks I need to perform every day. As you can see it’s messy but hey! it really works. I love getting a long list of consecutive ticks very satisfying.
Here are some great sources for more information on keeping To-Do Lists.
I found this interesting article from Forbes magazine.
This is great advice from Lifehack
This alternative opinion on the usefulness of to-do list is from Jotform.com
Making lists and ticking items off can be a huge benefit in your life. It can help you focus on the most important tasks you need to preform daily.
Provided you keep your list under control they do nothing but good.
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