What would we do without a to-do?
Having a to-do list is an important approach to becoming a proficient manager who craves astonishing success and also understands what they are doing. There are lingering questions on whether you should start a to-do list or not, but I don’t think there is any manager with great dexterity who will claim to have the power to remember large sets of coming activities better than what is written in a list or an application. As far as a huge list of activities is concerned, the human brain has limitations. The reason why someone may think it is a waste of time may be because they love complicating the list for themselves.
Having said that, one question that may linger is what a to-do list really is. It is a list that contains all the tasks a manager expects to accomplish and when he expects to achieve them in a given time period. Undoubtedly, a professional list of activities should not stop there; it should consist of a few reasonable approaches through which the tasks are expected to be accomplished. In my opinion, that is when I can say a manager’s professionalism is worthy of notice.
There are many benefits to forming a to-do list; here are few of them:
Motivates goal attainment: A professional list containing various tasks to accomplish and how to accomplish them serves as a motivation to achieve stated organisational goals. While trying hard to carry out each task using methods you’ve stated, you are definitely achieving your organisation goals.
Provides emotional stimulation: Nothing makes a person happy like when they realise that another task on their list has been completed. This puts them in a good emotional state. If a list is professionally organised, it’s certain to be emotionally satisfying. But please don’t be fooled, I’ve got a terrible habit of adding something to a list after its completed just so I can get the satisfaction of scoring it off again. Do what I say, not what I do 🙂
Prevents unseen errors and abrupt diversion: Relying on the brain is not bad, but this may not be able to save someone from abrupt diversions that may lead to errors. When someone is being guided by a plan of action, deviating from it may not be possible unless there is a good reason for it.
Increases productivity: trusting the brain doesn’t save someone from being forgetful. And if someone is forgetful, they will never make use of all the opportunities that come their way.
Revives the memory: I said this earlier but relying on the brain will make someone forget a few important things. Having a to-do list will revive the memory when someone eventually forgets something worthwhile. It will also help a person know what action to take next.
Reduces stress: If someone doesn’t want to stress themselves while trying their best to maximize profits, they need a plan of action. Being guided by this list ensures that they have a task to accomplish and they have a way to get it done. It saves them the stress of being clueless on how to accomplish a set of tasks.
A few of my favourite tips to maintaining a good to-do list:
- Don’t make it complex. You can make it weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
- Organise the list based on level of importance or time of completion.
- Be determined to make your tasks achievable.
- Mark an accomplished task.
- Go for a good application that is error-free.
- Prepare before writing your list. This will enable you remember to include useful tasks and approaches to getting them done.
- Stick to your list, unless there is a good reason not to!
And if you prefer an electronic list here are some of my favourite apps:
Todoist: perhaps one of the best to-do-list apps with advanced options for setting due dates and reminders! Combined with the options to use it on just about any platform imaginable, it is a real winner – even if you do have to cough up some cash to make use of its more advanced features!
Any Do: works great as a simple and organised to-do list which can be synced between phone and browser for on the move access!
Wunderlist: if you like things to be aesthetically pleasing then this is the app for you. A carefully designed application with the usual options for categorisation and reminders. Oh, and it’s free too!
2Do: if your willing to pay a small price (£2.99), then 2Do might be the app for you. As someone once said, you get what you pay for… with 2Do that is most certainly the case. While it might take a bit of time to get your head around, with such a powerful catalogue of features including the ability to assign actions such as phone calls & emails as well as integrate with Twitter, 2Do definitely trumps the competition.
Now go, add “Download a to-do list app” to your to-do list!
If you’ve got any tips for managing to-do lists or any great apps for management then please share so that other readers can benefit.