To-do lists are a great tool for all business people. They allow you to keep track of your time, schedule your day and ensure that important tasks get completed on time, every time.
But how do you write an effective to-do list?
Decide what medium suits you best
The first step is deciding what medium suits you best. Some people like to write their lists electronically or via a list making app, whereas other people swear by the traditional pen and paper method.
Include a top three
Effective to-do lists have one thing in common, a top three list that includes the three most important tasks for each day. These tasks are the ones that are non-negotiable and must be completed to ensure your business keeps moving forward.
Break tasks down into smaller parts
Big tasks can seem daunting on any to-do list. For this reason, we recommend breaking them down into smaller (more manageable) parts.
For example, the large task of invoicing could be broken down into:
- Generate invoices
- Issue invoices
- Follow up invoices
Don’t clutter your list with excessive tasks
While it’s a great idea to break your list down into smaller parts, try not to fill your list with excessive or useless tasks.
The best to-do lists are straight to the point and function to keep you on track. No one is going to be motivated to check 50 tasks off of a list.
Use a second list for everything else
An effective way to streamline your to-do list is to use a second list for everything else. Some people refer to these lists as a ‘brain dump’ for ongoing and miscellaneous tasks. This is also the best place to include tasks from your personal life.
Schedule time to plan your day
Finally, an effective to-do list is only as effective as the time you put into creating it. We recommend taking five minutes at the end of each workday to write your to-do list for the following day.
You’ll thank yourself for setting aside these five minutes when you start your day with a clear mind and solid direction of what needs to be completed first!