Do you feel like your To-Do List gets longer and longer even though you keep doing stuff all the time? Or are you having trouble starting in the first place because you can’t stop procrastinating?
Well then, I have the perfect post for you.
I put together a compelling strategy that will help you to be more productive in no time.
Are you ready to take it on? Great, here is what you’ll find:
- Benefits of a To-Do List on your life
- How to write a killer To-Do List
- How to beat procrastination and start being productive
Let’s look at the benefits of writing a To-Do List first.
1. Benefits of writing a To-Do List on your life:
Maintain an overview
Writing down all the things you must do will help you to keep an overview of all the important things. You won’t forget to pick up the suit or phone your mum because, well, it’s written down. In addition, having all your tasks on one list makes it easier to decide which ones are the most important and need to be done first.
Meet deadlines + stay realistic
When written right, a To-Do List can make meeting deadlines so much easier. You can break down your tasks in even smaller ones and set little time frames for each task to be completed. This kind of treatment will then help you stay realistic with the amount of time you have to put in to achieve a goal or get something done and will keep you from missing out on deadlines.
Pretend you’re organized
What’s the most important thing in business nowadays? Right, having your sh*t together. But no worries if you don’t. A To-Do List won’t just help you with getting it together but more importantly it will have you look like you got it together already. Great, huh?
Free up mind
Remember the last time you had a thousand things spinning around your head driving you nuts. Now imagine you would have had them written down. Your brain should feel so much lighter already.
Writing down what’s on your mind will help you declutter and unwind.
Get everything done
Well, that’s probably the most obvious benefit on having a To-Do List. You get stuff done.
Sure, you get it done without a list too but this way it’s just so much faster and more effective.
Now that we’ve established the pros making a list let’s look in to the actual process.
2. How to write a killer To-Do List in 4 steps
Fist I want to give you another quick tip.
I like to have more than one to-do list to keep it clear and organized. I usually separate in private and business and then for each area I have a monthly to-do list with all the task that need to get done in that month and a weekly to-do list. On my weekly list, I pick the most urgent tasks of the month, that need to get done that week and write them on this list.
After having your weekly to-do list, you can either check it every day and see what needs to get done today, or you do it like me and have two or three times a week where you batch process all those to-dos. The advantage here is that you can focus properly and don’t have to worry about getting things done all the time.
Now that you have this first very valuable tip, let’s see how you write an actual to-do list.
a. Write everything down
The first step of writing a list that will make you more productive is to outline all the things you have to do. Write them down in no particular order. Just make sure you don’t forget anything.
Tip: Don’t hesitate to add the small things like washing dishes, doing laundry, polishing nails, etc. as well. The less stuff you leave out the better.
Now in the second step it’s time to make an order to your tasks. Add a deadline behind each task, which says until when it has to be done. In addition, add an estimate working time you think it will take you to complete it. This makes it easier to be realistic.
Then write a second list with an order this time though. The most urgent tasks first and then those you have more time for.
c. Time and Content
Next you need to time your tasks. We’ve already set an estimate time above but now you must think in depth about how long it will take you. You can also write down a description to make your task clearer.
Then I already mentioned it before, schedule it as it fits you best. Either spare some time every day to check your MIT’s of the list, or have a couple hours through the week where you batch process everything. This also depends on how urgent you need to get the tasks done. Maybe a mixture between both will work best.
Also, it might be helpful to break larger tasks in to smaller pieces for a clearer idea of what has to be done in particular.
Lastly, it’s time to take action.
You’ve got a realistic and detailed To-Do List now so all you have to do is get started with whatever comes first.
3. How to beat procrastination and start getting productive
Not to spoil you but there is nothing that will help you to get started but getting started. You have to give yourself a kick in the butt and get moving. Though here are some tips on how you can trick your mind in wanting to be productive.
Just do it
The best you can do when you feel like you want to procrastinate something is to just do it. Don’t think about it, just do it because it is on your list and it needs to be done.
A lot of people swear on a little treat after they’ve completed something. Maybe this will work for you too. Try to reward yourself with a little something after you’ve met a certain goal (5 tasks of your list per day, for example). Though don’t be too easy on yourself. There is no point in rewarding yourself for every 5 Minutes you’ve done something.
No one can work non-stop. You need breaks so take them. It’s individual to everyone how long he or she can focus. For me for example I can focus easily for two to three hours and rather take a bigger break then. But if you can’t focus that long, that’s okay. Just take shorter breaks more frequently. Find your own working pace and keep it up.
Set small goals
That’s something you should have done above already. Make sure you’re realistic with your goals and they are small and achievable. Otherwise you won’t want to do them because they seem undoable.
Have you heard about this rule? It’s strategy by Mel Robbins and she suggests counting backwards from 5 to 0 and then do whatever you wanted to procrastinate. You should try it. It works!
Find a motivation to not procrastinate
Everyone has a different motivation why he or she wants to get stuff done. Find yours and use it to stop procrastination.
For me it is the value of time. I don’t like wasting it because it is the only source on earth I can’t get back and I know sooner or later I’ll run out of it. This motivates me to get stuff done quicker so I can use every minute to its best potential.
Don’t forget the fun stuff
Lastly, make sure you have at least one thing on your list each day, you look forward to getting done. This can be going for a walk, going grocery shopping, cleaning your room or whatever is fun to you. This way your list will look way less precious and you can look forward to doing that thing once you’ve completed the rest.
Awesome! You’re ready to take-action now. I hope this post was valuable to you and delivered some new insights. If so, feel free to share it.
Otherwise, see you Friday.