to-do-listWe recently came across a great article commending the virtues of writing a ‘To Do List’, interestingly the advantages are more far reaching than we expected.

We found out that the good old ‘To Do List’ is as an essential tool in day to day life, both work and personal.

We use daily, weekly, monthly and annual ‘To Do List’, which not only keeps us on track with the day-to-day juggles, but also keeps us in line with business and operational goals.  It is a beneficial tool to both Managers and staff members.

Here’s what writing a ‘To Do List’ can do for your psychology, planning, productivity and efficiency:

  • Filter – just like taking notes it gives you the opportunity to filter and summarise the important tasks.
  • Memory – once you’ve made your list it will be easy to remember even if it is not in front of you.
  • Reaching your overarching goal – larger and strategic goals are made up of sub-goals and smaller tasks, by writing down and acknowledging the smaller steps you will inevitably be planning to achieve your overarching goal. Writing down these steps will engage you with the desired outcome and facilitate a thought process that helps you identify what is missing from your ‘To Do List’
  • Lock it in – it’s advisable to allocate time and deadlines to the tasks. Plan ahead and put them into your diary so you know what needs to be done, you will think twice and plan other meetings or tasks around what is already there or decide to re-prioritise.
  • Do, Delegate or Don’t Do – of course in real life not everything goes to plan and even if it’s in the diary more pressing priorities may bump your task. Having it on a list/in your calendar will give you the opportunity to re-prioritise.

Above all, we find that there is a sense of accomplishment when you can cross things out.  I get the feeling like ‘yes, I’ve achieved something today and I’m moving forward in the right direction’!

The key message here is that even if you don’t systematically tick things off your ‘To Do List’ you are one step behind if you haven’t got one. Having a ‘To Do List’ enables you to take control, plan ahead, think of the bigger picture, assess the steps needed to achieve you goals and re-prioritise your time as needed.

Source: Fast Company