You might make a daily to-do list, but have you considered project lists or outsource lists? Here’s what to write down to get the most done.
Lists, I love them. On paper more than when they are in a phone or on a tablet of some description. For some inexplicable reason I get terrific satisfaction from crossing off list items. Scribbling them out because the task is complete. The unfortunate thing is that the list grows faster than I can clear it but I feel I am not alone in that remark. Lists are the refuge of organised people I feel. Once written down, filed or stored, the task is real and needs to be done. I know there are a plethora of apps for various devices to help organise you. Forget about apps, there were entire devices dedicated to organising your life. Remember the Newton from Apple, the Psion Series 5. I had both but neither helped me, I always reverted to a pen and paper.
Anyway, I digress! This is an interesting article that I found on the web recently on the Fast Company website and I love this quote from the opening line:
Your brain is for thinking, not for storing a long list of random things you need to do.
The article suggests definitive types of lists that you need to make to improve your productivity. Here they are
- A SPECIFIC AND TARGETED DAILY TO-DO LIST
- AN OUTSOURCE LIST
- A LONG TERM GOALS LIST
- A PROS AND CONS LIST
- A PROJECT LIST
- A TALKING POINTS LIST
A SPECIFIC AND TARGETED DAILY TO-DO LIST
We all know that a daily To Do list is essential for both professional and, dare I say it, personal daily productivity. The problem is most people don’t write with completion in mind and ultimately they may not be successful in combating their list.It is essential to make that list super targeted and super specific.The daily goals should be on the list if you have both the time and the ‘bandwidth’ to complete them. The larger projects – well they should be eaten like and elephant, small pieces at a time. Don’t set yourself up for a fall from the outset. Do the next day list before you leave the office for the evening. What are the meetings, phone calls and emails that need to get done? Basically, prepare a road map for the next day. Anything left over, transfer it on to the next day list.
AN OUTSOURCE LIST
Just because you are able to do something, does not mean you should do it. Everything that can be done by another individual should be places on to your ‘outsource list’. Whilst in the short term, it may take time to train somebody how to do the specific task, in the long run, time will be saved. Your outsource list will become someone else’s to-do list.
A LONG TERM GOAL LIST
What is the ‘end game’? Long term goals make the short term goals work better. you can achieve more. Regardless of the size of your dream, write it down. studies show that you are 33% more likely to do it. Do one for yourself professionally and personally and check in on it from time to time.
A PROS AND CONS LIST
When you’re making an important decision create a list of pros and cons. The best way to use this list is to write it down and leave it alone. Revisit it a later stage to help with your decision making process.
A PROJECT LIST
When you are working on a project with others, create project lists that detail tasks and assign responsibilities, which diffuses the likelihood of micro management.Try some online project software, there is lots out there. A task list and assignment, that’s the name of the game here.
A TALKING-POINTS LIST
If you have an upcoming meeting or important phone call, create a list of things you want to discuss, so you don’t risk forgetting something. Keep this list handy on your desk, so when things pop in your mind you can jot them down.
Check out this cool video on how to get organised by the guys at the Fast Company.