What you put on your checklist and how you use it will depend on your situation. For instance, if you’re in a sales-type role, a good way to motivate yourself is to keep your list relatively short, and aim to complete it every day.
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. Then carry out the jobs at the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete. You can also use software-based approaches to manage your checklist. You can often access these from anywhere, and they can often be synced with your Smartphone or PDA.
All of us think, plan and work differently. A program that works well for a colleague might not work well for you simply because you learn and think in your own way. This is why it’s useful to research and try several different ways of compiling your checklist before deciding on a single system.
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?