Let’s face it – we all have tasks to do. How we manage those tasks change from person to person – but generally you will find some sort of to-do list useful.
Using to-do lists in a business environment improves productivity – you just need to look at what tasks you need to do and tick them off accordingly.
Sounds simple, right?
But often, to-do lists become part of the workload themselves. They grow exponentially and become unmanageable, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and ineffective.
By tailoring your to-do lists with a few easy steps, you can regain control of your tasks at hand, and feel overwhelmed no longer!
- Write it the night before
Better to wake up with a list in front of you than a blank piece of paper/document/spreadsheet. It shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes and will allow you to hit the ground running in the morning.
- Start your tasks with an actionable verb.
And we don’t mean ones like ‘reach out’, ‘explore’, ‘plan’, or ‘touch-base’. Use precise language and unambiguous verbs.
- Text Sandip about lunchtime meeting
- Email client about query
- Justify each task on the list
With each point, ask yourself: Why am I adding this? If you don’t plan to act on it, remove it. Finally, rank and prioritise those that are important, not just urgent.
- Make time estimates
Not all tasks take the same amount of time. By adding an estimation to your tasks you will see if a task is too big to handle or whether you need to review other tasks in order to manage your time effectively.
- Review your to-do list
Whether it’s daily or weekly, it’s critical to review your to-do list to make sure that everything is progressing as it should be.
Similar to the creation of the list, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and will help you to make sure the next one you do will be even more streamlined and effective.
This article first appeared on the ACCA Potential e-zine. If you are still not a student with us, but want to keep in touch with us, do subscribe to our monthly ACCA Potential e-zine here.
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