Sticking to your To Do List

kcajdiMondays are great days to work on your todo list…

You can look back to what you didn’t complete, and you can look ahead to what you need to accomplish this week.  But, sticking to your list can be a challenge.

How do you stay on target to the todos that are on your list?

Stay on Your List

You make your todo list so that you know what you need to do.  You probably assign priorities or order the tasks on it.  However, it can be easy to set our list down and work on every little task that presents itself.

Have you ever picked up a small task that wasn’t on your list?  Soon, you have spent 3 hours doing something that you had not planned on doing today.

Going off your todo list for even simple little tasks, can result in distractions that take up the majority of your day.

A quick web task ends up in a 30 minute surfing session.  A simple 2-minute todo becomes 2 hours of searching for a lost piece of information.  That is why it is important to stick to your list.

7 Ways to Stick to Your Todo List

Your todo list can be one of your best friends.  It can keep you honest. It can keep you on task.  And it can prevent you from doing things that you shouldn’t be doing.

However, you have to stick by your list if it is going to help you.  Here Are 7 Ways to Stick to Your Todo List:

  1. Capture – Your list is only as good as the items that you put on it. Make sure you capture all tasks to your list. One way to keep from being diverted is to capture that errant todo to your list for later.
  2. Don’t Go Off List – When you find yourself starting a task, stop and make sure that it is on your list. If not, go back to your list. Stick to the tasks that you know you should be doing.
  3. Have One List – It is important that you have one list. Don’t scribble notes anywhere. (Like on a Post-It note…) Having multiple lists inevitably leads to lost and forgotten tasks.
  4. Review Your List Regularly – You should have your list with you at all times. (This makes #1 possible.) And you should review your list every single day.
  5. Keep It Visible – Keeping your todo list visible leads to action. Put your list where you can see it. When your list is out of sight, your tasks are out-of-mind.
  6. Delete Things Off Your List – Just because you added that task to your list, doesn’t mean you have to do it. You may capture something to your list only to find later that it wasn’t really important. Don’t hesitate to delete unnecessary tasks from your list.
  7. Check Those Tasks Off! – It doesn’t matter whether you use a check mark or an “X.” Marking things off your list feels good. That is why people add already completed things to their list, just so they can cross them off. Celebrate each task completed by checking it off your list.

 Only Do The Tasks on Your List

Going off your list for even the smallest of tasks can lead you down rabbit holes of non-productivity.

Today, stick to your todo list.

You will find that you get more done, and by staying on track, you will get your most important work done first.

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