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To-Do Lists - Streamline Your Day

Time Management Guide Part 8

I had mentioned earlier the importance of 'to-do' lists and this chapter is dedicated completely to highlighting the advantages of a ‘to-do’ list.

The 6 advantages of maintaining a to-do list:

  • A to do list minimizes the risk of forgetting or missing something

  • A to do list is more dependable than our memory

  • Once we have a written list of the things that we have to do, we can prioritize and decide which jobs should be done first.

  • Sometimes one or more jobs may require that we go to another office or section. A to do list helps us to avoid repetition of labor.

  • For example, if we have to deliver a document at an office and collect a document from another office which is on the same block as the first office, both these tasks can be done together.

  • It saves us the time energy and effort of going to the same place twice. But only if we have a ‘to-do’ list can we know in advance that there are two jobs at the same place.

  • A to do list enables us to cross out the tasks which are finished. which gives us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It is also a wake-up call if nothing has been done and crossed out.

  • If anything remains on today’s list, it can be carried over to tomorrow's list thus automatically preparing the first items for the next day.

Two important To-Do List reminders:

1. The ‘to-do’ list should be realistic

We say that the list should be realistic because it should include only things that can be accomplished in a day. There is no sense in preparing a list that includes items that can only be done over a week.

2. Create separate To-Do lists for longer periods

It is best to pin up weekly and monthly lists instead of carrying them around.

Caution: A weekly list is not something to be done on the last day of the week and a monthly list is not something to be done at the end of the month.

So your daily to do list should include an item on doing a little bit on the task that is to be completed at the end of the month. Does this help towards meeting deadlines? You bet!

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