To do lists shouldn’t take hours to set up, nor should they be complicated. Every second you spend setting up your task list and preparing for the work ahead is time wasted instead of getting out there and eliminating items from your schedule. You should be able to jot down your tasks, have just enough flexibility to work how you need to, and then get on with it. After all, isn’t the point of a to do list to help improve your productivity?
Keeping a properly structured and thought-out checklist sounds simple enough. But it can be surprising how many people fail to use them at all, never mind use them effectively. In fact, it’s often when people start to use them effectively and sensibly that they make their first personal productivity breakthroughs, and start making a success of their careers. The video, below, gives some tips on how you can start to use To-Do Lists more effectively.
In the professional world, checklists are a huge component to the daily work of pilots and surgeons. Detailed step-by-step checklists help fight complacency in the cockpit, and maintain safe operation of the aircraft during all phases of flight, from gate to gate. In hospitals, medical teams use checklists to ensure surgical procedures go smoothly.
But in you’re in an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to focus on a longer-term checklist, and "chip away" at it day-by-day. Many people find it helpful to spend, say, 10 minutes at the end of the day, organizing tasks on their list for the next day.
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