by DeskDemon Staff
We are all probably pretty familiar with the “to-do” list. It sits in the corner of our desk, lurking there, reminding us of all the stuff that we have to get done. Some of us even have a to-do box or file that we pitch things into as we receive them with the promise to ourselves that we’ll get to them when we have time. As that file, box, pile or list grows, we feel more and more stressed out.
However, there is a way to turn your stressful to-do lists (and yourself) into a productivity machine. All you need to do is change the way that you handle your lists and you will change the way that they impact your life.
Here are three steps to a better, more productive to-do list:
1. Break them down: Each day, make a list of the things that you must get done that day, along with a few things you would like to manage to accomplish, but that are not necessarily vitally important that day. This makes your list more manageable without giving yourself an excuse to slow down if you finish everything.
2. As you complete items, cross them off and then add them to the “Done” list. You will find that watching your “done” list grow is far more rewarding than simply removing things from your to-do list. At the end of the day, you will have a list of accomplishments instead of just a list of things you didn’t get to.
3. Make a “tomorrow-do” list before you shut down for the evening. This helps you prepare mentally for the tasks that you need to get done tomorrow, and will help you settle in to work faster the next morning. You will not need to spend time deciding what to do first, but rather can settle right in to whatever has been on your mind to get done since the evening before.
By splitting up your to-do lists in this manner, you will find that you are able to be far more productive at work and that you have dramatically decreased your stress levels in the process.