There are times when everyone wishes that there were more hours in a day. Instead of wasting energy on wishing, it’s time to get proactive in learning how to create an efficient schedule. These easy to-do list tips will boost workplace productivity so that business owners and professionals are able to get the most out of every single moment of each day.
Productivity Jumps with a Detailed 90-Day To-Do List
The first task is to get organized. Write out a detailed to-do list for everything that needs to get accomplished within the next 90 days even if the projects are unrelated. Putting these ideas down on paper helps clarify the necessary steps of a project, frees up clutter in the brain and reinforces the commitment to the goal.
The next step is to identify broad categories based on clients, projects or looming deadlines. Move on to breaking the categories up into more manageable tasks that support the overall goal. The more detailed the list, the less likely important steps will be overlooked.
Finally, assign each action a priority rank, such as A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 and so on. Each week, focus on crossing off the items listed under the Priority A column. On a daily basis, attack each assignment in the exact order that it appears on the list. This should ideally be three to five actions per day.
Stay on Task with Regular Updates
Maintaining the list with regular updates prevents frequent mental interruptions since the brain no longer has to struggle to remember everything that needs to get accomplished. Every Monday morning, review the overall plan and weekly goals, reordering the priority list as assignment are completed and new tasks pop up.
If low-priority projects continue to roll over each week, then set aside a specific time to tackle these issues. On the first day of each month, update the to-do list with the upcoming 90 days worth of projects.
Utilize To-Do List Tools
If you learn to schedule every minute in your day you will have more control over your time and increase your productivity dramatically. Creating a detailed outline of which tasks should be completed by a set time helps keep a tight schedule and decreases stress.
Different to-do list systems cater to various personalities and working styles. An app works well for people who are always on the go. A simple spreadsheet is best for people who are usually at their desks. Colored sticky notes on a whiteboard help a visual person to see how all the small pieces achieve the big picture. Make sure the system is able to be easily reordered and reprioritized as projects evolve.
Staying on task also means preparing for the unexpected. Build time into the daily schedule for last-minute assignments that are high priority. If nothing pops up, then allocate this time to checking off some of those low-priority projects that have been hanging around for a while.
Once an effective system is identified, after 90 days of making to-do lists and completing the tasks, productivity will increase dramatically.
List Photo via Shutterstock