The Art of the To Do List
A to-do list is designed to help people organize daily, weekly and monthly tasks so that they can devote their full time and attention to completing the project at hand. It is not an exciting way to organize projects, but it is one of the most effective as they help to manage workloads and boost productivity. From a few bullet points on a piece of paper to tasks recorded into a computer program, to-do lists can take many forms. Some people have questioned the effectiveness of a to-do list, but many claim them to be the best way for them to collect their thoughts and focus on their work.
The to-do list has been around for years, but it is believed that Benjamin Franklin was an advocate of this method as he organized his daily tasks and self-improvement strategies with them. He is known for creating a thirteen-week to-do list that not only prioritized his goals and daily tasks, but that recorded his progress as well! Modern to-do lists may not cover every detail of a thirteen-week period, but the fundamentals of a to-do list have not changed.
To master the to-do list, you need to use it effectively. Many people begin a list with the hope of getting an extraordinary amount of work done in one day. After several days they are left frustrated and confused, as their desk is covered in piles of unfinished lists and tasks that have not been completed. The Zeigarnik Effect then comes into play, where people become overwhelmed by the tasks that they have yet to cross off the list. To avoid this, use these steps to create the ultimate to-do list.
1.) Categorize each task into a specific group.
2.) Estimate the time that each task will take.
3.) Prioritize each task by importance.
4.) Review your list and make additional changes if needed.
With a prioritized list of outstanding tasks, you can identify the one that is most deserving of your full time and attention, knowing that the ones in abeyance won’t be forgotten. And the ones you have completed will reinforce the inherent success of the process.
A to-do list is a staple in business as it is an easy way to keep track of projects and tasks. If you are struggling to complete your daily lists, it may be time to approach them differently. Take some time to reorganize your to-do list and increase your productivity today!