I have found the practice of writing a list of things to do for the day in the morning to be helpful in managing my day. We all have busy days and we never have enough time to get everything done. It is easy to stress ourselves out trying to keep track of everything that needs to happen each day. Instead, we can attempt to free our minds of the job of trying to remember all of our tasks for the day. This will enable you to focus more on the important things that requires more mental processing power. Try this simple action; write a list of everything that you hope to accomplish for that day.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a pen and paper or a to-do list app. The important thing is that you are moving this list out of your mind. Now this is what I would suggest:
- Write down everything that you hope to accomplish for the day. You can make the list for just work, home life, or both.
- Then you need to prioritize this list. I have heard how some people like to focus on the hardest tasks first and then the easier ones later. Their reasoning is that while your mind is fresh for the day you can easily take on the hardest tasks. On the other hand, some people like to work on the easiest tasks first as a way to warm up their mind. Plus, it feels good to see some tasks already checked off on your list. I recommend doing what works for you; try one approach one day and the other another day. You might also have your own way of working on tasks throughout the day where certain times you feel more energized to take on the harder tasks.
- I also recommend asking yourself for each task, “Is it a high value one where it has a significant impact on you, your business, and your customers?” If it doesn't do that, then it is a low value one where it can sometimes be the mundane, repetitive tasks that need to get done, but it is not a high priority.
- Remember to take breaks throughout the day. Your list is a way to visually see what has been done and what remains to be completed. It is not a sprint to try to get as many things checked off on your list, but rather a means to help pace yourself through the day.
I recommend spending a few minutes or fifteen minutes in putting together a list in the morning. I know some people even try to plan more in advance by putting together a list the previous night. I found that having this list can be a great visual, road map for all the things you hope to accomplish for the day. It helps prioritize your day and makes you more efficient.