Write down all of the tasks that you need to complete on the checklist. If they’re large tasks, break out the first action step, and write this down with the larger task. (Ideally, tasks or action steps should take no longer than 1-2 hours to complete.)
There are many time management software programs available. At a simple level, you can use MSWord or MSExcel to manage your lists. Some versions of Microsoft Outlook, and other email services such as Gmail, have task lists as standard features. Remember the Milk is another popular online task management tool that will sync with your smartphone, PDA, or email account. It can even show you where your tasks are on a map.
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?
Recently, The Art of Manliness provided an historical look at checklists, along with a detailed primer in deciding which lists will work for you, culled from the excellent, The Checklist Manifesto. You can implement the same routine in your daily work to help give you a greater shot at success.
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