To Do Lists


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How you can use To Do Lists to bring greater efficiency into your life.

The full chapter on To Do Lists will show you how to prioritize and effectively manage your time.

Understanding and utilizing To Do Lists mean freeing up more time in your day for the things you enjoy.

One of the most effective time planning tools is the “To Do” list. If you have a continually updated list of things you need to achieve and their respective priorities it is far easier to be focused and manage your time wisely. Almost all successful people use To Do lists.

There are four main types of To Do lists.

List #1
The To Do List is a general list of things to do in the next week or two. It is split into the top half which is work related and the bottom half which is personal.

List #2
The second list is a daily “Must Do” list which will typically have that day’s priorities plus appointments. In general this list will not have more than 10 items as it is better to complete the list than run out of time.

List #3
On either a Sunday night or Monday morning, rule up one piece of A4 paper with five separate sections for:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday


Under each day write out the most important five to seven tasks to accomplish. While you could just as easily do this on a calendar or print out your Outlook calendar, there is something about writing it all out that focuses your mind on planning each day of the coming week. It is also easy to carry forward any tasks that didn’t get done on one day, to the next. Also doing it on a Sunday night forces your mind to start planning ahead. This is an excellent strategy to improve your efficiency and time management.

List #4
The fourth list is a “To Do in Town” list. I live 15km from the city, so I minimize my trips into town by only going in once a week or once a fortnight. Every time I think of something I need in town I put it on this list. Whenever I go to town I have seven or eight things to do and I can race around, do them all and not waste any time.

It doesn’t matter where you keep your list – your computer, PDA, mobile phone or on paper. Paper works best for me.

Another advantage of To Do lists is you never miss an appointment or a deadline. I often highlight appointments so that I make sure I don’t miss one. I also use the reminder function on my mobile phone as a back-up.

If you have trouble managing your daily tasks or your time, start using To Do lists.