This could easily be the shortest blog post in history. Why? Because the answer to the title of this post – the most-effective way to use your to-do list – is simply one word: Don’t! I know, I know – you are attached to your to-do list.
You LOVE to check things off your list one by one. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to scribble off those items.
But what happens at the end of the day and you have more items than hours? Then what? You end up feeling frustrated and “perhaps” become self-critical. “Why didn’t I get more done? I need to get focused. If only ‘they’ would leave me alone!” And on it goes. Sound familiar? I’ll bet it does, because I have spoken with thousands of people all across North America and what I hear over and over again is this: “I have to have my to-do list!”
Even when it isn’t always that effective.
Even when you are often frustrated.
Ok, I hear you. You want your to-do list, but you also want to feel more effective and productive, right?
So here we go – let me share with you the most effective way to use a to-do list that I promise you will heighten your productivity over time.
Here’s how you can enhance your productivity: Write your list just like you normally do. But don’t stop there. There is more you need to do in order to get more effective. After you write down your list, go to your schedule and place each item that you need to accomplish today or this week in your schedule! I know, you are going to say, “But I don’t know when I am going to do these things!” Exactly! That is my point. When you have a long list of items that you need to accomplish and you don’t determine when you are doing to do them, it creates mental clutter, neurological overload, and stress!
Write down the items in your schedule at a specific time. Then reference your schedule every hour to see where you are in regards to the tasks you are committed to doing. This way, when you have an hour or two free, instead of spinning your wheels being busy but not productive, you will actually get to work on what you want to and need to accomplish.
If something urgent comes up that throws your schedule out of whack, just go back to it as soon as you can and reschedule the items you did not accomplish.
More than anything, what you need to do is redefine what productivity means. There is more to life than getting things done.
I define productivity as clearly and consistently making progress on what is important to you and bringing forth your best self in all that you do. Why? Because you are clear on what you want to do and you become less stressed in the process of determining when you will accomplish those things.
I truly believe that we will create a better world by everyone bringing forth the best of who they are with clarity, peace of mind, and ease. There is a better way! And you can create it!