Starting our first business was an incredible learning experience.
We all the sudden became the head of sales, hr, marketing, finance, operations, public relations and every other title you could imagine.
The days were driving us crazy, no where near enough hours to accomplish what we needed to do, and on top of that, a chunk of our day seemed to be brainstorming what we should be focusing on that day.
Once we figured out the focus, we were already a few hours in, and that was proving to be very precious time. That’s when we decided to implement a true daily to-do list or checklist, and it did wonders.
Most of you may use a checklist, or used one for a short period of time and did not take it seriously enough to have it be effective. Or, maybe you just did not know how to use it effectively.
Below are 3 tips to help implement an effective to-do list and create more time in your day.
1. Choose the Right Platform
Having the right platform to manage your to-do list is important. Think about yourself and your specific situation.
Do you work alone or with others? Do you need the list to appear on multiple devices? Do you prefer pen and paper?
Everyone is different so make sure to think about what will be most accessible to you throughout your day. There are a ton of applications out there that have extensive programs around checklists, but sometimes simple is better so choose wisely.
We chose Microsoft’s OneNote because of it’s ability to be on all of our devices, as well as letting us both manage the edit the same list.
Definitely would recommend taking a look at OneNote before you make your final decision.
2. Top 3 Rule
Like us, you may have some days where you have 20+ things on the to-do list.
When we first started using the list we would just jot down new tasks when they came up and found the list getting crowded which seemed to cause a lack of focus.
If you are spending a lot of time trying to figure out which items to do first, the list will be ineffective. Split your list into 3 sections:
1. Top 3 items that must be completed first without debate
2. Other items to address throughout the day 3. A place to jot down ideas and tasks that come up throughout the day.
3. Proper To-Do List Maintenance
[Single most important part of this process is spending an extra 15 minutes or so at the end of every day to reorganize the list for the following day.]
That 15 or so minutes will increase your productivity TREMENDOUSLY!
Implementing this simple tactic has changed the entire structure of our days. When you set up the list properly the night before, you start your day with clarity and your know exactly what to work on as soon as you start your day.
Simply create your top 3 for the next day, eliminate all completed tasks, roll over uncompleted tasks to next day and prioritize all the ideas/tasks you wrote down throughout the day.
Once you do this, you go to bed with a clear and focused mind, which also leads to better sleep and greater production!
Follow the steps above and feel free to reach out with questions. Now go crush your day!