In this post you will learn five Time Management Best List-Making Practices or successful professionals for effective List-Making. These Best List-Making Practices will streamline your list so it has a kind of punch for effectiveness and ensure you get the maximum benefits from this life hack technique. If you missed the earlier posts in this valuable Time Management series, you can check them out here: Part 1 and Part 2. Ready to become a list building virtuoso? Read on . . . Time Management Best List-Making Practices Best List-Making Practice #1: Keep It Short & Sweet I understand that many of you stress solution seekers have a lot on your plate. Initially, your to-do list will be long and complex. As you continue to refine your skill of prioritizing tasks and delegating work to others, you will discover that your to-do list, and your life itself, can be so much simpler. Bonus: Stress will be less. So, strive to make your main to-do list, day list and future list short and concise. If your to-do lists become too detailed, you may de-motivate yourself from accomplishing each of the items. How many items should be in your to-do lists? As a rule of thumb, I often limit my total to-do items to 20 items. If I have to add one more to this list, I often check off 5 or more to get ahead. Beware: Listing things won’t make you a good time manager. The list is the tool that will help you manage your time more efficiently. View it as a virtual companion and be sure you keep it current and active. If you end up procrastinating INTERNAL LINK or abandoning your to-do lists, they won’t be any help at all. Best List-Making Practice #2: Don’t Add Commonplace Activities A to-do list is actually a way to manage your time when additional activities begin to pile up. With this in mind, don’t bother adding routines like “have breakfast” or “drive to work” on your to-do lists. You already know for sure that you’re going to perform these tasks, so it is actually counterproductive and timeconsuming to crowd your list with them. Instead, focus on upcoming tasks that require more time than your usual tasks. Example: Going to the dentist or getting an appointment somewhere. Best List-Making Practice #3: Hammer the Hard Tasks First There was a time when I focused too much on the easy tasks. The problem: I had little or no time left for the more difficult tasks. It was very challenging to get back on track because the remaining items on the to-do list were all difficult and time-consuming. You can avoid this scenario completely by balancing tough tasks and easy tasks. The first thing that you should try to accomplish in your day, when your energy is high, should a difficult or time-consuming task. Be sure this is a task you are prepared to tackle Keep working on a difficult task until you’ve finished it or you finished at least 50% of the work needed to complete it. This will gratify you with achieving your goal for this one difficult task this day.Don’t let yourself start on a task, only to leave it a few minutes later because it’s difficult. The difficulty level of a task is a big determinant of how much time to allot to it. As a task’s difficulty increases, so does the time you need to accomplish it. So, be fair to yourself: Schedule you tasks within reasonable time frames. Best List-Making Practice #4: Be Flexible and Adaptable Flexibility is the most important trait that you can develop when you are managing your time. If you too hard on yourself, inflexible with your own schedule, you may feel frustrated. You could be overwhelmed with at all the important things you have yet to accomplish. Be kind to yourself, make adjustments as necessary, and see steady progress. You know yourself better than anyone else on the planet. Be mindful of how you feel and what you’re thinking when you’re planning the days ahead. Best List-Making Practice #5: Work with Your Organic Schedule Each person’s organic or natural working schedule is unique. Some individuals feel pumped up to work right after lunch. Night people like me work better in the hours that lead to midnight. And still other individuals are most efficient accomplishing their tasks right after breakfast. Your prime working time, unique to your inner clock, is the time to schedule your challenging work. Schedule your most difficult tasks to coincide with your “wave of productivity”. Reserve your easier tasks for the times of the day when your energy is a little low and you can only handle smaller tasks. Understandable: Some people might not have the option to move their work around. How to remedy this matter: Schedule “rest gaps” between the difficult tasks. These recovery periods will help you function better.You won’t be overwhelmed with difficult tasks, even if you’re not mentally conditioned to do them at a particular time.
Your list is a most important component of Time Management Best Practices. It should be your daily companion. You’re your list short and uncluttered with the commonplace. Schedule the difficult first but be kind to yourself: Set your schedule for what you feel you can accomplish and when you are at your best to accomplish it.
This 3-part series LINK TO CATEGORY on Time Management focused on time as your most important resource. The techniques are customized by you and for you.
If you follow the practical steps in these 3 posts, you will are bound to enjoy greater organization in your life, confidence in your capabilities to get things done, and considerable relief from stress.
You have learned techniques and tools to personalize your time management. If you have implemented the techniques already, then you have inventoried and adjusted your present use of time (Part 1). You have created a Super Tool a special approach to your to-do list for surefire effectiveness (Part 2). Finally, you fine-tuned your to-do list with professional best practices (Part 3).
These Time Management techniques work. Let us know if they have helped you. We’d love to hear of any or your own techniques that work for you.