1. A task or to-do list keeps you from straying
There are so many distractions during the day.. I’ve had days where my desk fills up with Post-it notes in between phone calls. It’s easy to lose track of notes on random pieces of paper. I love using a dry erase board on the wall that I can glance up at and easily cross off items that get completed. The list helps me to get back on track after phone calls or a meeting that I have.
2. Prioritize your list
Put your most important items for the day on top of the list. You can also add sub-items in order to ensure that you don’t miss anything when working on a task. There may be a related phone call that you need to make or a document that you need to put together in order to bring the task to completion.
3. Keep from forgetting important tasks with a list
Throughout the day, it’s too easy to have things creep in the way or to spend too much time with a distraction (did I say Facebook?). With a to-do list staring at you it’s easier stay focused on unfinished items.
Another tool that I like to use is the “Tasks” tab within Google’s gmail page. You can set up multiple lists, “cross” items off the list, edit, delete, and re-arrange items.
Don’t worry about uncompleted lists. Simply start your next day with a new one. Bring over the unfinished items from the previous day, add anything new, and keep your most important tasks on the top.
Once you get into the habit of spending your first 10 minutes in a day making To-Do lists, you’ll quickly see how it’ll save you many times that in lost productivity.