To Do Lists Solution: Remembering To Do All Essential Tasks, In The Right Order
How to Use Tool:
A 'To-Do List' is a list of all the tasks that you need to carry out. It consolidates all the jobs that you have to do into one place. You can then prioritize these tasks into order of importance. This allows you to tackle the most important ones first.
To-Do Lists are essential when you need to carry out a number of different tasks or different sorts of task, or when you have made a number of commitments. If you find that you are often caught out because you have forgotten to do something, then you need to keep a To-Do List.
Whilst To-Do Lists are very simple, they are also extremely powerful, both as a method of organizing yourself and as a way of reducing stress. Often problems may seem overwhelming or you may have a seemingly huge number of demands on your time. This may leave you feeling out of control, and overburdened with work.
Preparing a To-Do List
The solution is often simple: Write down the tasks that face you, and if they are large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have To-Do. Once you have done this, run through these jobs allocating priorities from A (very important) to F (unimportant). If too many tasks have a high priority, run through the list again and demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.
You will then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You will be able to tackle these in order of importance. This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones.
Using Your To-Do Lists
Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you are in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day.
In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list and 'chip away' at it. It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to - if you are running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority.
If you have not used To-Do Lists before, try them now, as they are one of the keys to being really productive and efficient.
Prioritized To-Do Lists are fundamentally important to efficient work. If you use To-Do Lists, you will ensure that:
- You remember to carry out all necessary tasks
- You tackle the most important jobs first, and do not waste time on trivial tasks.
- You do not get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.
To draw up a Prioritized
To-Do List, list all the tasks you must carry out. Mark the
importance of the task next to it, with a priority from A (very important) to
F (unimportant). Redraft the list into this order of importance.
Now carry out the jobs at the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete.
©Mind Tools, 1995-2004