Do you use a To-Do list? If not, how do you keep track of all the things we are have to remember? Whether it is good old pen and paper, your Outlook calendar or an app on your iPhone, there are 5 (probably more but we wanted to keep this short) advantages to making a list…
Advantage 1 – A To-Do List is more dependable than relying on your memory
I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t have a perfect memory, I often forget things that don’t impact on what I’m doing at that moment.
Taking a minute to add something to your To-Do list when you think of it removes the stress of having to remember everything. And anything that reduces stress has to be good, right?
Just the act of writing it down acknowledges that it is something that needs to be done at the appropriate time. You can then decide what priority to give to the new task when you next revise your list.
Advantage 2 – A To-Do List makes prioritising much easier
Prioritising tasks is much easier when you can see everything in one place. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if there are a lot of items on your list. By assigning a priority based on urgency and deadlines means that you can do the high priority tasks during the most productive part of your day and leave the lower priority items until later.
This does not mean that I agree with procrastination!
The reality is there are only so many hours of productive working time in a day. If your to-do list looks anything like mine, there’s no way it all gets done in one day! If I didn’t have a system for prioritizing, I would be totally overwhelmed and at a loss for where to start when I get up in the morning. However, since every item is numbered with a priority based on deadline, it’s much easier to start at no. 1 and just work my way down the list.
Advantage 3 – A To-Do List makes planning travelling easier
If the tasks on your list involve having to leave your home or work, having a to-do list is a great time saver. Again, seeing all your errands written down in one spot allows to you group together things that can be done in one trip.
This also allows you to plan your route more effectively, saving time, stress and fuel.
Advantage 4 – A To-Do List provides a sense of satisfaction
This is one of the most important advantages of using a to-do list. It’s so easy to get caught up in the feelings of “I have so much to do,” and “I’ve worked all day and got nothing done.”
By looking at your to-do list at the end of the day and seeing what you have already done, you prove to yourself that you are productive. You can then feed on that sense of accomplishment and build momentum to tackle the list again the next day.
Advantage 5 – A To-Do List helps you to Eat Your Frogs!
It is always easier to do the tasks we like and avoid those we don’t by saying we don’t have time. Unfortunately the tasks we don’t want to do still need to be completed and can cause you to feel more stressed by procrastinating on them.
Prioritise your frog as first task of the day. The motivation you feel after eating a frog is amazing and sets you up to be more productive for the rest of the day.
If you haven’t already then read “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracey to learn the three vital rules of effective time management – decision, discipline and determination!
We’d love to hear your comments on how your To-Do List works for you.