“to-do list” in few steps
Your tasks pile up, you are drowning in work. And the new project is not even included yet! You are far from feeling great. Instead, a lump has stuck in your throat. You have no idea how to cope with everything on time. In fact, there is always a solution. Sometimes it can be much simpler and closer than you anticipate.
First of all, write all things that have to be done. No order, just figure out the assignments, like brainstorming. You can point them out on your task board, write them with a pen in your notebook, list them on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Choose the instrument that fits you and reflects you best. Follow these guidelines for creating a to-do list:
- Priorities – Define which one is the most important task. Determine what must be done strictly today, and divine the significant from insignificant. It is easier if you form three different lists. One of them for today’s tasks and others for tomorrow’s or next week’s duties. Do not forget to update these lists when next week’s tasks become “do it today” assignments. Delete those that you’ve already done. Sometimes there will be canceled projects, and others will come in their place.
- Resources – Think about how you’ll resolve the tasks. Do you need some kind of tech, or probably a car? Do you have to talk with an expert or read an article? If everything depends on you, act bravely towards the ultimate goal. In case you can’t do it without human or technical resources, plan the most effective way to get them.
- Time – How much time does it take to execute a specific task? And will that still be doable considering the sum of all tasks for the day? Ask yourself if you take on too many projects? Is it okay for you to work overtime? Pay attention to the tasks you set. You have dedicated eight, ten, or even four work hours per day. The idea of the to-do list is not to take more assignments and to fail. The aim is to handle all significant things for today and to organize the rest in your timeframe. Look at it as a top-down picture, like one done by a drone. When you see the whole puzzle, you will be able to put each piece on its spot.
- Reward – Appreciate and prize yourself for the job well done. When you finish a to-do list or part of the assignments, write them in another list with your small wins. It will motivate you. Your success will stand out. Let your success mirror your self-esteem!
If you prefer digital to-do lists, check these three free applications as a start:
- Google Tasks – If Gmail is always open on your computer, this is the most appropriate app for you. It’s hard for any application to be handier than Google Tasks. Adding assignments is quick. There are due dates, lists, subtasks.
- Microsoft To Do – The main interface is user-friendly. Adding tasks is quick, but there’s a lot of flexibility below the surface. The real standout feature here is the deep integration with Microsoft’s ecosystem.
- Todoist – It is one of the most popular to-do lists right now. A free version is available, and the paid one begins from 3 dollars per month. The app is flexible enough to adapt to most workflows.
One of the biggest challenges is to evaluate the to-do time for a task. Try to estimate how much time you need to block for applying your creative spirit, using professional imagination, and a rational approach to a commitment. Of course, sometimes you are just not in a mood. To be more productive, choose to work in the daytime when you are most focused. Some people prefer to complete their job in the morning. Others can’t wake up early and choose the afternoon. Whatever time you pick, make sure your goals and priorities are the starting point.
Keep in mind that sometimes unforeseen circumstances appear. It could be a new project or a personal change. Of course, the chance of something as big appearing is much lower than sticking to the plan. But even so, if you are in a flexy mode, you will painlessly accept and deal with all surprises.
Among the ideas of a to-do list is to focus on the accomplished things too. You’ll become more effective when you structure your days. You should also realize, that each plan accomplished is one more proof of successful manager skills. And, last but not least – instead of ending the workday bored, tired, and with a pack of unfinished projects, you can follow your to-do list and reward yourself for the job well done.