Organization is the secret to productivity. To keep my days flowing smoothly, I rely on daily to-do lists to itemize work tasks, house chores, and volunteer work. If your to-do list never seems to end, let alone get shorter, it needs a major overhaul. You will complete your list each day with these time management tips.
Create a Manageable List
Your to-do list should be based on one day, not on everything you’d ever like to accomplish in the foreseeable future. In the evening, I try to think about the next day and what absolutely needs to be accomplished. Those tasks are the only items to put on a to-do list.
Save larger projects or chores without time constraints for a day with a lighter load. Log these tasks in a notebook, and pull items from the list and add them to your daily to-do list little by little.
Now that you know what you need to accomplish tomorrow, organize the tasks by importance and difficulty. If I have a deadline to meet at work, it goes to the top. I also try to put the most time-consuming tasks at the top of the list so that I can tackle and complete them when I have the most energy. By the end of the day, I’m ready for easier, mundane chores like folding laundry or taking the recycling to the collection bin outside.
Make Time for Tasks
Just because you make a list doesn’t mean the items will magically get done. You have to make the time to succeed. A month ago, I decided I needed to start my workday earlier to accomplish everything on my to-do list. Carving out this extra time has eased my stress level and made me more productive overall.
You can find time for small tasks such as returning a phone call or responding to an e-mail on your lunch hour. Or stay up a half-hour later in the evening to give the kitchen a quick cleaning. Many tasks take less time than you might think, so get to them!
How do you manage your must-do tasks? Share your time management tips for staying organized in the comments below.
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