3 Ways To Improve Your To-Do List

Nearly everyone has some form of to-do list, whether it’s scribbled on a piece of scrap paper or imported into a complex computer program. No matter what system you use, it’s a good idea to revisit and adjust your list every once in a while to maximize your productivity. Here are some ways to do that.

1. Prioritize Your Tasks

Your list should have some way to prioritize what you need to do each day, week and month. When unexpected road blocks pop up, it’s vital to know what can get pushed to the back burner and what tasks you need to carve out the time to complete. Prioritizing also helps you organize your day by showing you what you need to focus on first. Try picking two or three must-do items to put front and center, color coding your list by rank, or even making multiple lists so that you don’t get distracted by lower-priority jobs.

2. Optimize Your Workflow

Working on multiple similar tasks at a time can help increase your productivity by preventing you from having to switch your train of thought as often throughout the day. Do you need to clean out your email inbox, approve invoices and come up with a new project proposal today? Try knocking out the emails and invoices in one sitting, and then allow your mind to go through the creative process with minimal interruption after that. Checking off your small tasks up front can also help you get in the groove and help you feel accomplished, which helps motivate you through the rest of the day.

3. Clean Out Your List

Chances are there are a few tasks that have been floating at the bottom of your list for months now. It might be time to take a good hard look at those items and decide if they’re actually worth your effort. Especially if no one else asked you to do them, it might be a better idea to direct your energy to a more important project and free up the mental space those little to-dos were inhabiting. If you decide they are still necessary, or if someone else needs you to do them, schedule an hour or two to crank through them and get them off of your list.

Checking items off a to-do list can be incredibly satisfying and even motivating. Make sure your list is working for you by taking the time to organize it regularly.

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