To do lists are digestable. They allow us to organize our thoughts for the day and motivate us to hit each thing listed, there is no obligation to string together a narrative or write even a single complete sentences, and they can take as little as 1 minute to make. In the evening before bed, write out everything you need to do for the following day from showering to cooking spaghetti carbonara for dinner. This will help you visualize the day ahead, see any errors in scheduling, and allow you to flow through the day seamlessly.

 

Don’t Make Too Big Of  A List

 

Review the list and pick one-to-three items representing what matters most. When the workday rolls around, get to work on priority one, then two and three. At the end of the week, purge or remove unimportant, non-urgent tasks. If you’re feeling good, you can go as far as picking out six tasks to focus on for the day, but picking too many is a recipe for overwhelm.

 

In Personal Kanban, authors Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry wrote: “Limiting [work in progress] allows us the time to focus, work quickly, [and] react calmly to change and do a thoughtful job.”

 

To Do Lists Will Help You Delegate

 

You don’t need to do everything yourself! Make To Do lists, within your To Do lists then break down each work project you have for the day into smaller more accomplishable feats. By zooming in on a project, you will be able to see if you are taking on too much.  This will allow you to delegate more efficiently to co-workers and employees. You will also be able to cross off 10 more items on your list and that feels oh so good.

 

They Will Relieve Your Stress

 

To-do lists allow us to feel productive, especially if things can be crossed off early in the day. They allow us to plan our time more effectively and schedule well-deserved breaks or downtime when necessary. They also allow us to evaluate the day, and eliminate any potential stressors or areas of overbooking.

 

Things will obviously arise throughout your day that are unplanned for. Do not abandon your prioritized list - simply add a note on the side with the new urgent task and move through it the same.

 

You can use a pen and paper, your Notes app, or a variety of user friendly task oriented applications available online. A few of our favorites are Evernote, Wunderlust, and Any.Do.

 

In today’s busy world, it can seem like there is a never-ending list of things to do, regardless of your efficiency. It is important to list your priorities, understand and accept you likely wont achieve everything you have set out to do in a day, and celebrate the tasks you did accomplish. Start small and don’t rush through it. Who knows, maybe you will turn into the Marie Kondo of list making. The future is bright.