The Art of Using a To-Do List to Increase Productivity

I know this is considered as boring or extra work by many people but hear me out when I say it will make your day way easier and make you more efficient. I used to be in the same place as you might be at right now if you don’t make a list. 

To me, it seemed stupid to waste time making a list when I could be using the time required to do the actual work, it seemed ironic to me, and this is where I was wrong.

Planning is a crucial step for anything you want to do – from something small to something big. How I see it, there are two ways you can go, either spend a few moments planning and get the work done systematically or save time planning and work in chaos, figuring out what to do next as you go. What looks easier? What makes the most sense to you?

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!” -Brian Tracy

Doesn’t the first option make more sense in terms of productivity? Once you understand that, then comes the correct way to make your list. Most people try to fit in a ton of work for the day under the pretence of being productive, but it doesn’t work that way, big lists don’t mean you will be more productive.

What you have to do, to begin with, is, write down the tasks that you have to do or you can do in a day, no matter what – take into consideration every other responsibility and commitments you have. This helps you minimize your list and keep realistic goals for the day. 

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” -Tom Landry

Once you have the list ready, start classifying the tasks as to what importance they hold. Club all the priority and non-priority tasks together. See what tasks tie in with your ultimate goals and what things need to be done currently but are of not much importance.

Having a prioritized list helps you go through your list more efficiently because then you won’t be spending your time thinking about what task to do from the many tasks on your list. That being said, your list shouldn’t include all high-priority tasks because that defeats the list of having a list.

When your productivity increases, so do your work that brings in money and success. You might not want to be frugal with your time when it comes to making a plan to change your life. Every little thing you do today can have a great impact on tomorrow. Try to create a workflow that pushed you to do your best and also prepares you for the future.

“Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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