To-Do lists can be the key to success!

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:

  1. Don’t make it complex. You can make it weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
  2. Organise the list based on level of importance or time of completion.
  3. Be determined to make your tasks achievable.
  4. Mark an accomplished task.
  5. Go for a good application that is error-free.
  6. Prepare before writing your list. This will enable you remember to include useful tasks and approaches to getting them done.
  7. 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.