If you are used to writing to-do lists every day you probably won’t make it through the day without one. To-do lists are a great way to plan your day. They are an awesome guideline and tool to keep up with all the tasks you have to get done. To-do lists can definitely boost your efficiency and motivate you. Every time you finish a new task you can check it off your list. We all know how great the feeling is once you finished the whole list at the end of the day.
Now, the best part about to-do lists is that they are easy to create. However, what many people don’t know is that creating a realistic yet efficient to-do list is quite hard. Here are some tips how you can optimize your daily to-do list to finish all of your tasks every single day and feel great about your accomplishments.
Write Down Small Tasks
Take one big tasks and divide it into three or four small tasks. This way, you will have more to tick off your list. This will keep you motivated and you will like you have accomplished more.
Structure Your Tasks
Always start your to-do list with simple tasks. After that, write down the harder tasks and ideally you should finish your day with easy tasks again. If you start your day with the hard tasks you might lose your motivation or worse, you will feel overwhelmed. You wouldn’t start your run with a sprint right? You would warm up first. Keep that habit at work. It will help you start your day right.
Plan How Much Time You Will Spend On Every Task
This will help you keep your to-do list realistic and avoid planning too much for the day. Most of the times, we tend to be very optimistic when we write our to-do lists. Keep in mind that your time at work is limited. You can’t do everything in one day. Know what to write on today’s list and keep the rest for tomorrow and the day after that.
Include Time Buffers
Avoid planning every minute of your day. Instead create time buffers in case something comes up. You never know if there will be an unexpected meeting/phone call or an urgent task that needs to be done right away. To avoid an incomplete to-do list at the end of the day always keep 1 or 2 hours free. A time buffer can even come in handy if a task takes longer than expected. In that case, you will still be right on schedule.
Measure Your Performance
Keep track of your accomplishments. Use a time tracking tool to save all of the tasks you’re completing every day. This will gave you the perfect opportunity to look at your overall performance at the end of the week. There are weeks when you work better and there are weeks when you aren’t as efficient as you would like. That’s normal. The important thing is to be aware of your performance to be able to improve it.
Reorganize Tasks If Something Unexpect Comes Up
Sometimes, unexpected things happen. Things that not even your time buffers can cover. In that case it is okay to reorganize your to-do list and postpone certain tasks to the next day or the day after that.
Plan the Next Day
Try to write your to-do list for the next day ten minutes before leaving work. You won’t have to worry about scheduling your tasks the next morning and you can directly start with completing your tasks.
As you can see, to-do lists are more complex than most people think. It might take 5-10 minutes to write them but once you have structured your tasks properly, written down how much time each of these tasks will take and even included time buffers in case something unexpected happens you’re good to go.
Once you have your ideal to-do list the next step is to track your performance to see if the time you’ve planned for your tasks equals the amount of time it took you to complete them. For this, you should check out the project time tracking tool TimeTrack.
TimeTrack is a great tool for employees and companies looking for a way to keep up with their efficiency and performance at work. You can set it up in just a few minutes and keep track of all your projects.
If you want to keep up with your strenghts as well as weaknesses to improve your planning skills TimeTrack is the solution you are looking for. Are you ready to try it out? Learn more about TimeTrack.