Earlier, we’d done an article on why the brightest minds don’t make to-do lists. But, could we leave behind the rest who can’t go a day without theirs? Certainly not. We spoke to a few people who not just make lists, but also make them work wonders for them. They admit that it’s an excellent way to not just save time, but also to boost productivity. So, if you are struggling to stay committed then a few wise tricks here might just help you to add a few more imaginary hours to your day!
Make a note before you leave from work
This is an old formula, but still relevant. To have a list to action on the next day is important so as not to lose time by first identifying and then prioritizing them. So, give pending work some thought; jot down all that needs your attention. And, most importantly organize the list in a way that you know which ones are important and which can be delegated.
Agrees Sanchit Gupta, founder of DrinksOnMe. He adds, “I tend to make mine on an excel-sheet and colour-code them; red for high-priority work I have to finish come what may, yellow for important tasks I am yet to begin with and then paint them green once accomplished.”
Time tasks or don’t
Having a list before you isn’t enough. You must also be able to estimate how much time it will take you get past them. Chances are that you may end up spending more time than it would normally take to tick them off because you never times them.
Corporate Lawyer Noshir Vania says, “It’s partially true, but not for me. Old habits die hard. I have been making to-do lists with no time label for almost a decade now. And, despite that it has helped me stay on track the entire day. The way I function is that I create a macro list and then group them in a way that every day I work towards achieving the final goal.”
No wonder why you should follow what works for you.
Pick a medium that best works for you
Sometimes an incomplete task list induces a strong feeling of guilt which you cannot escape from. Probably because you find a to-do list too intimidating even to look at. Prateek Shah, Founder of Digital Defynd quite animatedly nods and says, “Quite honestly, I am not a huge fan of these lists. It only adds to my anxiety and makes me worry more. At worst, if I do have to make one then I keep it minimum and mark them up on my calendar or if there are emails I have to respond to, I mark them unread and go back to them by the end of day.”
Make a personal task list
Often times we find ourselves procrastinating or giving into distractions and interruptions that take us away from work. It is exactly at this moment that your personal to-do list comes to rescue you. One big supporter of this time-saving, work-accomplishing formula is Sanchit. He says, “Mostly because I value time a lot and I’m scared of losing it. When I figure I’m procrastinating or on the verge of doing something unproductive, I quickly turn to my personal task list. I run errands like going to the bank.”
While not all of us have the liberty or privilege like him, people who are office-bound like Prerna Sood, a Social Media Co-ordinator & Lead Copywriter at NexTag do it a little differently. “I like to have things under control and not vice versa. If there is personal stuff demanding my attention, I will wrap them up like fixing my dog’s appointment. If not, then I will start reading stuff which is relevant to my industry.”
Heard about Bullet Journal?
Despite all your efforts if you still finding it difficult to stick to your list then I recommend you visit Bullet Journal website. Developed by Ryder Carroll, the approach is absolutely minimalistic. Initially, it seems it requires too much of an effort, but once you get a hang of it, it will slowly grow on you. And, no you don’t have to buy his journal instead you can use your most favourite dairies to streamline your work days.
How do you manage to make your lists work out for you? Perhaps your funda could help the rest of the tribe who are still testing the waters!