We have to admit, sometimes we depreciate the value of to do lists, but man did those helped me on more than one occasion. Truth be told, having a to-do list at the beginning of your day makes it far better than not having anything. In the end, it is an extremely powerful tool.
And the same goes for your projects. To do lists are one of the oldest and primitive ways of organizing the day or the project ahead, but they can do wonders. They declutter your head and make you far more productive. Especially when it comes to series of small tasks you need to do in one day. And they literally take no time to make.
Those saved me on many occasions and on days where everything just seemed to come falling down on me all at once – my job, freelancing, home tasks and relationship. Don’t take my word for it, let’s dig deeper and have a look at the benefits and how you can make a perfect to do list and nail that day like a boss.
What To Expect
As we said, to do lists are an easy and a simple concept. It’s the pioneer of organizing, a tool for „toddler organizers“, but if used properly they make a powerful tool even for more experienced task managers that tend to use different methods. Yep, if used properly. To do lists are awesome, but their critical flaw is that they require a great level of commitment.
Kinda like, this is the new day, I’m making my list and if I don’t cross it out I surrendered and failed type of commitment. Yep, this one is for the doers. And even if you’re not, give this method a chance every now and then when things go south, either on you or when you need to brave that day with your team.
Wonders, we tell you. Now, let’s get to the benefits of to do lists when it comes to project management and combining them with more advanced tools.
Easier To Set Goals
Once you start making your to-do list, the first thing you’re going to feel is the clearance of the mind. As you start pulling those numerous thoughts and obligations that are buzzing in your mind onto a sheet of paper you immediately have a clearer picture. And things don’t look that though or complicated as they seemed. All those goals and things you have to do are now becoming doable tasks and you feel much readier at conquering them.
If you’re about to jot down your teams to do’s it’ll be much easier to ponder on common goals, how to get there and most importantly who’s the right person for each and every task. This will make easier for you to start planning your projects and setting the right milestones in a proper direction.
Once your to-do list is done and you’re ready to plan your project or your day, you’ll have a clearer image of the outputs of the tasks and their correlation to others on the list. This is where you can start thinking about priorities and how to set those tasks in line, so it makes more sense. This way you’ll ensure the project flow isn’t as broken and in the end, time is better spent. By getting more skilled and used to this way of planning, soon you’ll even have time to spare to get things done ahead.
A clearer picture is what to do lists are all about and once you have all those small pesky tasks in front of you, you can start thinking time. Much easier to evaluate the right timeframes for each task once they are on that paper. Your scheduling will get improved as a result. To do lists offer amazing and fast learning curves when it comes to time evaluation. Set a time for each task you need to perform and you’ll start seeing that even this looked overwhelming in your mind and certain tasks take even less.
If you have tasks that are reoccurring, now you can do and solve them much easier and faster. This will make your planning skyrocket as you’ll now have more room for tasks you didn’t think will make on that list on a day that seemed so though and filled as it is.
How To Do List?
This isn’t a rocket science either. Or is it? 😊
The best time to make your to-do list is first thing in the morning or when you get to work. Some people like to do them right before bed. Well, if you don’t want to get overexcited about your day and feeling all energized right before bedtime which will make falling asleep that much harder, mornings will be just perfect. 5-minute team meeting or period of solitude as you drink that morning cup will do just perfect. Brainstorm the tasks you need to accomplish and soon you’ll be left with quite a number of them.
Time to make that list. Just write every task in the order you want to accomplish them or write them one by one as they pop-up. There are going to some on that list that really shouldn’t be, like ‘taking a shower’, but as you get experienced you’ll start numbering only those that matter. And there you have it – your to-do list now has a form. Commit yourself to accomplish all the tasks for the day ahead. Be playful and make it a matter of life and death.
Evaluate the time you need to spend on each task and try to accomplish them in that period. Place all your focus on the task at hand and you’ll notice you’re being much more productive. Do a combo of to-do list and other technique that will help you nail it.
Time to spread the word
We aren’t going to lie, but to-do lists aren’t going to cut it for everyone. Yet, if you see yourself getting better and getting improved results – it’s a great idea to implement this on your project team planning. Combining to-do lists with your everyday project management tool will make your team more productive, better at planning and scheduling those project tasks!
Josip is an aspiring content marketer and an outreach specialist at PointVisible and freelance writer at Teamweek. Other than marketing, he likes to grab a good book and read about different leadership ideas and styles.