According to one productivity expert David Allen, using ‘to do’ lists are a smart way of keeping on top of your workload.
Keeping on top of a workload is one effective way of helping to manage stress at work by giving employee’s the feeling that they are in control and on top of things, not the work.
I read a great article, on CEO.com (an excellent site, might I add, do check it out) about ways for executives to manage stress, so with this in mind, I wanted to share 5 Top Tips on managing a to-do list from the Creativedge experts:-
1. Don’t keep it all in your head
This is the first and most important tip when it comes to to-do lists.
Our short term memory can only hold between seven to ten items, so it can become difficult to memorise every single thing you need to do without making a written list.
Rather than getting stressed trying to remember everything, making a list will help you focus on what you need to do as well as reducing anxiety levels.
2. Try multiple lists
Rather than trying to keep a single list of tasks for all aspects of your life, it can be easier to use multiple lists.
It can be helpful to keep separate lists of work related tasks, household jobs and family/friends related reminders. It’s important that each list is kept in its proper place.
For example, you might keep your work list in your work planner, computer or smart phone, your household list on your kitchen notice board, and your family/friends related reminders, in your diary.
3. Lose the big stuff
There is no point putting the big stuff like ‘get a promotion’ or ‘lose three stone’ on your to-do list.
The point is to break large goals down into manageable, bite-size pieces. The best to-do lists focus on tasks that need to be completed on that particular day.
Rather than putting these goals on your current to-do list, create a separate ‘Someday/Maybe’ list for tasks which don’t quite fit into your life at the moment, but which you want to keep track of for the future.
4. Have a priority list
Have a daily priority or A-list with the most important tasks right at the top. Anything else can go onto a lower priority or rolling B-list.
When putting things on the A-list, remember to factor in other commitments such as time spent at meetings.
If you complete you’re A-list tasks, then start to work on the B-list. As you work through the A-list, transfer items across to the B-list to keep things moving.
5. Keep it short and sweet
Don’t try to cram lots of items into your to-do list, as this can leave you feeling stressed and de-motivated.
Try to keep your daily list cut down to the essential tasks you need to get done that day. It’s recommended to have no more than 20 items to be spread across your A and B lists, all of which you are committed to completing over the next couple of weeks.
Want to read the rest of the Top Tips for Handling your to-do list?
Visit the new Creativedge free mobile App providing immediate, expert management and personal development tips and advice on a range of other management and training issues:-