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Do you often feel overwhelmed with work? And still, you miss deadlines every now and then. Do you sometimes just forget to complete important tasks, and your co-workers chase you to get these tasks done?
Well, my friend, the solution to all of these problems is to make a to-do list. However, merely creating it is not going to make your life any better. You need to work on your to-do list to make it work for you. According to The Busy Person's Guide, 41% of to-do list items are never completed. Of course, you don't want this happen to your to-do list.
Here are the five steps most successful people follow to cross 100% tasks off their to-do lists.
1- Plan it the Night Before
Why do successful people plan their to-do lists the night before? The answer is simple - they don't want to spend the morning time, when we are fully energized, on planning what should be done. Instead, they start working the moment they step into their offices. Even many successful people finish 75% tasks of their to-do lists till the noon. Planning a to-do list in the night before provides you with an instant head start as you won't have to spend time on thinking in the morning.
2- Prioritize Tasks
To get the most out of their to-do lists, all successful people prioritize tasks on their to-do lists. How does it help? Prioritization helps you understand which tasks are urgent, which tasks are complicated and require deep focus, and which tasks will take less/much time.
Also, successful people plan small, easy tasks first. Why? Finishing these tasks takes less time and energy, and crossing them off the lists gives them a sense of accomplishment that motivates them to complete the next tasks quickly.
So, if you want your to-do list really work for you, start prioritizing tasks. Believe me, my friends, your life will be a lot easier.
3- Focus Only on the Current Task
There is a reason why a to-do list includes tasks orderly. Want to know it? To keep people focused on the current task. All successful people know this secret and they never even think about the next task until they finish the current one. The best way, I've found, to focus only on the current task is to look at the to-do list only when your current task is finished. Don't keep your to-do list in front of you all the time.
4- Let Others know
Now, you must be wondering that how letting other people know can actually help you with your to-do list. Yes, my friend, it does. That's why successful people let others know their to-do lists. When you tell other people about the to-do list, it benefits you in two ways. First, they will not be disturbing you unnecessarily as they know you are determined to complete certain tasks today; second, you will try to finish those tasks on your to-do list anyhow as other people know that you will be completing these tasks today. It is a kind of psychological effect.
5- Use Technology
Successful people never rely solely on notepads for their to-do lists. They make the best use of technology. There are many time management software programs available. You can pick as per your liking. If you want to make it simple, just use MS Word or MS Excel. Most email providers, these days, have task lists as their standard features, or you can use any other specialized software program, such as Remember the Milk, Trello, GTDNext, etc.
You owe it to yourself to make your to-do list work for you. Follow these five tactics, and you will be crossing all the tasks off your to-do list on a daily basis.