Do you know how to effectively use a task list? Do you even have one? If you don’t utilize this excellent tool for ultimate productivity, you need to start one right now!
One of the biggest challenges we face in our fast-paced world is that we are constantly bombarded with information. Sometimes it makes it increasingly difficult to remember everything we need to.
Knowing this, think about how much a missed commitment could hurt you while you are being smothered with all this other information? This is where a task list comes in.
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A Task List Can Make You Productive
A task list, or a to-do list, as it is also called, isn’t just for business tasks, but for personal too. It doesn’t matter what system you use either.
Some ideas of tasks lists are as follows:
- a simple list on paper
- using a planner (physical or digital)
- Google calendar
- Microsoft Outlook
- apps for tasks for your cell phone
Why This Type of List Works
This type of list works because it gives organization and clarity to the tasks you need to complete. These can be daily, weekly, or monthly.
When you record tasks that need to be done to paper or on a digital means, your brain subconsciously relaxes. It somehow knows that it doesn’t have to be remembered and looped back around in your mind.
When your brain releases those tasks, it “clears space” and thus you will be less stressed and more relaxed.
How to Start a Task List
The three basic steps to developing a list of tasks are as follows:
- Write out your tasks
- Complete your tasks
- Cross off your tasks.
Seems easy enough right? Let’s put a little more thought and explanation into though.
Writing Your List
In order to start a task list and use it effectively, you must start with some tasks. Sit down and write out all the tasks you can think of. This is like brainstorming and will be your master list.
Then decide which of the tasks you listed are the most important to complete. Start with the most pressing task first and add it to your list. Then, continue with all the tasks you have brainstormed.
Know that you may have a few lists and that’s okay. I have a worklist, a home list, and a personal list.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Don’t feel like every single thing you have to do has to go on your list every day. Instead, have a master list of tasks that you can take each task from. Then, transfer them to the days you feel they may need to be done.
I like to list all of my tasks for the week in my planner on Sunday night. Then I use the items on that list to transfer them throughout the week as I can. Therefore, I don’t have 30 tasks to complete on Monday and nothing the rest of the week.
Remember, having too many tasks can be just as stressful as having no task list at all. Sometimes you may need to delegate those tasks to someone else.
How to Make Your List Better
One of the best ways to make your list even better is to use color.
Go out and buy yourself some colored highlighters. When you complete a task, highlight the task that you have completed. By doing this your brain will relate that color with something successfully completed.
This does two things for you. First, it starts to teach your brain that by seeing that color slashed across a task it means it was completed.
Secondly, by following this process you will start to become more organized and will start to look forward to actually adding more tasks to your list.
The more you get done the more productive you will feel! As your productivity increases so will your personal success!
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