There have been countless articles written about the power of a to-do list and creating tangible goals. With all of the focus and time spent on this topic, why do people still struggle to understand the power of a well-done to-do list? The reason is that people just do not take the time to do it. We are all natural procrastinators and a to-do list can force us to work harder.
In order to understand the benefits of a great to-do list, it is important to understand how to create one. A list should be tailored to your life: what are your life goals and values? This list should not be like a grocery list, yes you may need to pick up bread, but that is not the point of a to-do list. Understand your goals and break them down to little steps that you can do every day to get closer to that goal. Write down what you need to accomplish each day and then do it! Do not let your to-do list become a reminder of what you cannot get done, beat the list and finish it each day by choosing manageable tasks. Once you identify your tasks for each day and work to complete them, you will find that you get a lot more done. It can be easy to fall into the trap of creating a mental list of things to-do, but by writing everything down you can better plan your day. A physical list allows you to visualize everything that needs to be accomplished and prevents anything from falling through the cracks.
This leads to the benefits of a well-done to-do list. The major benefit comes from the motivation and proud feeling you get when everything is checked off at the end of the day. Creating and completing small tasks each day will eventually turn into great progress. Has some goal been eluding you for a long time? A promotion that you want? A new certification? A to-do list may be your way to finally accomplish this goal. Let’s go with the promotion goal as an example; each day create a list of extra tasks you can do to prove you are ready to take on more responsibility. Once you create a to-do list of your normal tasks and the extra steps you want to add, you can better organize and optimize your day.
Allow your to-do list to work for you and take the hard part of planning out of your day. Watch as you check everything off your list as you become more productive and start taking steps towards reaching your goals in life!