The simple answer is yes.
Here are some reasons why;
- By getting the tasks out of your head and onto paper/digital it clears your head. When we have more than 3 items in our head, we have a tendency to start getting overwhelmed and stressed.
- It enables you to prioritise and gain clarity on what are the most important tasks.
- When you start your day, it confirms what task you need to be starting first.
- As you complete each task, you immediately know what is the next task to do. No, umming, ahing, procrastinating or guessing, and then getting to the end of the day and realising you forgot to do a more important task when you had the chance.
- It helps keep you motivated, as you see yourself being productive and working through the list.
- It reduces stress in your day, by having clarity in what needs to be done.
- A To Do List creates order in your day.
- A To Do List helps you keep yourself and others accountable for getting those important things done.
I have met and spoken to many people who have said, “I tried that and it doesn’t work for me!” When I question them on how much effort they put into it, they say they tried it one or two days, and it didn’t work.
Some people prepare their list and then don’t look at it. Others say, “I keep forgetting where I left it!” I’m sorry, but you need to take some responsibility for your actions or non actions. If you want something to work, you have to put in a concerted effort. Don’t even bother starting if you’re not really prepared to make the commitment to creating some change.
I am being a bit hard here, but I have seen the massive change in people when they do put the effort in. The benefits are enormous, I have clients who have gone from working long hours 6 & 7 days a week, to working 3 & 4 days, normal business hours or less and getting more than twice as much done in their week and having great success.
When you create a list for your day, will you always get everything done?
Not every day goes to plan, however, the more you develop your skills of planning, the more often you will stay in control of your day. You have to stick at it, just like you did when you learn’t to drive a car.
How many different lists should you have?
If you are using a hand written list, I recommend two, a master list where you write down any task as it comes up, or you think of it, and a daily to do list, where you list and prioritise the tasks you plan to do on the day. You can categorise your tasks whether they are personal, business, work, or any other category.
If you are using a digital task management app, i.e. Apple Reminders, Todoist, Google Task, or another of the many apps, you can have multiple list for different categories, i.e. Personal, Business, Work, Projects, Marketing, etc, etc. The most important thing when you have multiple digital lists, is that they all need to feed the tasks that are due “Today”, into one list, to enable you to prioritise that list for the day, and work through one list as you work through your day.
I personally use the Apple Eco system for my Calendar, tasks, notes and planning. I use reminders for planning my tasks. I have 3 groups, 1. Time Retrievers, 2. Personal, and 3. Shopping, in which I have a few lists in each. I try not to have too many groups and lists, as it just gets too complex. I also have a default list called “Master List” where any un-categorised tasks go.
Reminders has 5 List Widgets, 1. All, 2. Today, 3. Scheduled 4. Assigned, 5. Flagged. I have Today, Scheduled and Flagged showing. Although I will add and plan tasks in the groups and lists, I click on the Today list to prioritise and work through my tasks for the day.
The reality is, To Do Lists are extremely beneficial to you having a highly productive and successful day. Combine them with the 13 Hidden skills of time management and you will develop time management skills that will se you achieve whatever you want in your life.
To find out more on developing your time management skills, register for our online “Constant Interruptions Stop Me From Doing The Things I know I Should Be Doing!’ session today.
Have a great week,
Peter Johnson – The Time Retriever
P.S. Peter is an experienced business coach who has been working with over 172 businesses and childcare centres, and thousands of people in his workshops and speaking engagements.
He found that another of the big issues for business owners, is the lack of knowledge and skill on how to employ high quality team members .
He has helped business owners create successful businesses, through first developing their time management skills and then using these skills, plus many others, to grow and develop the critical areas of their businesses.