The Classic of Time Management Tools – The To-Do List

To-Do-ListMany people have very little experience with good time management skills or time management tools. So they start with the classic time management tool – the To-Do List. In many cases, for convenience, effectiveness, or success with your goals, To-Do Lists are really hard to beat. A great memory is great, but I’ve always found that the act of actually writing something down on a To-Do List “sets it in my mind” and makes it easier to remember the, To-Do… and it feels so good to cross a completed task off the list!

Also, as a stress reliever, a To-Do list is great because, all of a sudden, you’re much less worried about a task being forgotten or “falling through the cracks” and not getting done.

When you write tasks down on paper, or in an application on your smart phone or computer, it saves energy since you are no longer trying to recall many pieces of information and facts that need to be dealt with. Instead, your prioritized list keeps you on track to accomplish your daily goals with the least effort… save your energy for the big projects, the ones that matter most and generate the most income.

If you’re like me, you’ll probably notice an increase in productivity as your confidence is raised. Over time, as you use To-Do lists for daily accomplishments, it makes sense that if you achieve more in a day, you’ll feel better about yourself.

Here’s a Simple To-Do List System:

  1. Get a spiral notebook. Write “To-Do List” on the front (along with your name and contact info – in case it gets lost) in big letters. Use this notebook ONLY as your To-Do List.
  • Get the size of notebook that is convenient for you and the way you work. If you like a full size 8 ½ x 11 inch notebook, that’s what you want! If you prefer one that fits in a pocket or purse, that’s good, too. (A friend of mine uses a classic “Stenographer’s Notebook” as he likes the size and the top binding instead of the side binding.)
  1. Commit to yourself to USE the system. Always use your notebook as your To-Do list. Don’t use scraps of paper that get lost everywhere – along with the information and tasks they represent.
  • Your planner or your To-Do lists are critical to finding more success in all you do. Knowing that you will get everything done is a great confidence booster. Just write down your tasks and goals. Then do them and then mark them off when they are complete!
  1. Start your To-Do List today. Go ahead… open the notebook and start listing all the tasks you need to complete. Don’t worry about big projects versus small tasks. Take all the space you need. Remember also to prioritize your tasks for greatest productivity.
  2. Celebrate your completed tasks. When you finish a task, cross it off the list (or mark the completion date and time).
  • As you use your To-Do list more and more, you’ll find a lot less concern about whether you’ve completed tasks. With your growing confidence, you know that if you put it on the list you will do it! And the reward of marking a task as complete can’t be beat.
  1. Rip out old pages. Eventually, you’ll start to have pages where every task has been completed and crossed out. Tearing these out is quite satisfying… however, you may want to consider entering the date and time when a task is completed so you actually have a completion time for later reference if needed.
  • You’ll be amazed at how good it feels when you realize you’re getting everything done every single day. Like the rest of us, some days you’ll get more done than other days, but your list of completed tasks will give you much satisfaction.

You see how a simple daily To-Do List raises your confidence in so many different ways. Finishing each job and getting rid of a whole page of completed tasks can give you a tremendous confidence boost.

The act of planning and writing down what you want to accomplish in a day is an integral part of your organized, effective, and self-assured life.

Remember also, the To-Do Lists on your smartphone or in computer programs like Outlook will also help you stay on track. Since I work at my desk most of the day, I use Microsoft Outlook – I like it because it is both an email client and has full calendar/task list functionality – with alarms. And planning systems like the Franklin Planner will keep you on track as your business grows.


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