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?
To-Do Lists can help you get, and stay, on top of important projects and piles of tasks or decisions. For instance, imagine you’re heading a team that’s working on a project. There are so many tasks to do, and so many people doing them, that staying on top of it all seems overwhelming.
Or, imagine you’re in a sales role and have a long list of people who you need to talk to. You write out a checklist of everyone you need to call and every client you need to see, and start prioritizing.
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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