Not everyone runs on lists. However, if you’re struggling to be more productive and reach your goals, a list could save you time and energy, and help you focus on what’s important, and what’s not. (Oskar Schindler would tell you that a list can save lives too)
The simplest productivity system that exists is a basic To-Do list, and it’s the base of all other productivity systems.
Step 1. Write down everything you need to do in a list
Step 2. Sort your tasks by priority
Step 3. Do the most important task first
Step 4. As other things come, add them to the list (or create additional lists)
Step 5. When you complete a task, cross it off
The basic To-Do list is a quick, simple system to note things down and get them done.
Your To-Do list shouldn’t have more things than you can do on any given day. I personally use the MIT technique (Most important task). I list one to three most important tasks to do each day.
You can also use the Ivy Lee Method. At the end of each day, choose 6 tasks to focus on tomorrow. Prioritize these six tasks in order of their true importance, and then work on these tasks in priority order until all six are completed.
There is also a 1-3-5 method. Choose 9 tasks to focus on that day. 1 big, high-priority task (Frog), 3 medium-priority tasks, and 5 low-priority tasks. Complete the big, high-priority task first, then medium-priority tasks, and finally the low-priority tasks.
Choose the technique that works best for you.
This helps you start your day with clarity because you know exactly what needs to be tackled on first, second, third…
Tackle the biggest task before checking emails, responding to phone calls, or other trivial tasks. People and technology will always be there to distract you; therefore, you need to make your highest-priority task a true priority. There is only one way to be sure to accomplish your goals, and it’s simple – take action where the action counts.
If you have a hard time limiting your To-Do list to just a few items every day, create additional To-Do lists:
Your To-Do list should be contributing to your happiness and productivity, not dominating your life. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete all the tasks on the list. Getting up and trying again tomorrow is the real achievement.
P.S.: This post is a part of a bigger one called The Best Productivity Systems in The World.
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