Tasklist! A term that everyone knows. For some, it is a miracle cure for effective days. For others, it’s useless, and it doesn’t work. The mention of the word list is enough to give them buttons—this long list of endless tasks that knock out and disgust their jobs.
They have not always found an alternative to make their day more digestible and cope with their hectic daily life. Nor to relieve them of the headache caused by all these things to make spinning in their heads.
But for sure, task lists, never again.
How about you? Have you had a painful experience with task lists? Or did their reputation precede them and convince you of their futility? All is not lost. And not all task lists are good to throw away. The method you will discover in a moment will allow you to organize yo urself and practically. Get your head out of the water and the problem many people have experienced: Have too much to do and not enough time available.
It will take you barely 10 minutes to get started, and the benefits are enormous compared to its simplicity.
The first step is simply to unload your mind from everything that clutters it, very specifically—namely tasks, commitments of all kinds, and anything that catches your attention during the day.
Why Do You Need a Task List? Brain-Computer: Same Problem
Our head is well made, but it is not equipped to remember everything that concerns us, near or far, in our daily lives. The amount of information it can process at the same time is limited, as is a computer’s RAM.
When you launch too many applications simultaneously, your machine rows as they say. The same goes for the brain. If you fill it with a bunch of thoughts and things to do, it eventually slows down.
These ideas will keep coming back to mind and will loop indefinitely until we process them. What for? Because part of your brain will stay connected to it. All the time. You may have heard it before, but our brains hate emptiness. He doesn’t like unanswered questions or outstanding things.
You can’t focus effectively. You may forget important tasks. Your view of things and your priorities is blurred. This is precisely what leads us to stress, fatigue, and the galloping impression that we always have too much to do.
So you need a system that allows you to offload your brain from anything that catches its attention and to organize these elements according to an appropriate logic.
Do Task Lists Work?
May you have already tried to manage your tasks in the form of a task list? The problem is that we often misunderstand how to proceed. What for? Well, because these lists are often endless. We have an unfortunate tendency to want to add more and more.
This over-enthusiasm stems from us not knowing how to accurately measure the number of tasks that can be done in a day and the time to complete them. It is not always easy to define what is important.
The number of tasks you have to face quickly becomes overwhelming. It is as if, because of this long list, we find ourselves with even more work to do. And no more stress, either. So we put it off until the next day. Our tasks are not moving as fast as we would like. And this list, which is hardly getting lighter, is losing its usefulness.
After an inconclusive trial, you end up giving up thinking making lists doesn’t work. We suggest that you do things differently today and show yourself that using a task list can be effective in organizing at work and elsewhere, provided you do it properly.
How a Task List Can Help You in Being Productive and Organized?
The method we suggest was popularized by Michael Linen Berger in his book “Master Your Workday Now!.” Many people use it successfully, and large companies like Microsoft. Here, we will present a simplified version of the system, ideal to start with and aimed right at the essentials“.
Its goal is to allow you to sort your tasks easily and quickly, so you know exactly what you have to do and when you need to do it. You see that it makes this thanks in particular to time horizons and a few simple rules to follow. We’ll tell you about it right after. Understand that the benefits to you are enormous.
It allows you to focus, at first, only on the most urgent tasks you have to face, without worrying about the rest. Once the emergencies are under control and the pressure drops, you will have a clearer view of your activity. You will focus more serenely and efficiently on the important, but not necessarily urgent, aspects of your work. To achieve this, we will rely on the use of time horizons.
As we have seen above, there is often a tendency to overload your list of things to do as a priority. It is precisely this overload that suffocates us and gives us the impression of being constantly behind.
Time horizons allow us to get rid of this problem. Let’s say you have to report a full report on last quarter’s sales figures in 3 days, with suggestions for improvement.
Let’s say this task takes you half a day’s work, and you’re already busy. You probably say that is not possible. You don’t have the time, and this extra task to perform increases your anxiety level a little more.
Now, if you are asked to do the same thing but return it within 15 days, you have a much better chance of saying yes. Or at least to swallow or at least to accept it. Our brain interprets a task differently depending on the deadline assigned.
It makes us believe that after 10 days, we will be less busy. We will have fewer tasks to do. And so we look at everything we need to do after this time limit in a much more relaxed way.
This horizon of ten days is a psychological mechanism common to most people. In reality, it is an illusion. We will still have as many new tasks and commitments in 10 days as we do now. But we can take advantage of this mechanism to limit the number of pressing tasks to focus on and to relieve ourselves of everything that need not be done in the next few days. It is on this principle that the system you will adopt keeping your working days
Advantages of Task Lists
Following Are Some Of The Advantages Of Task Lists:
- It helps you organize your thoughts.
- Increase your productivity.
- Facilitates planning.
- It allows you to monitor your performance and progress.
- You’re in control to decide what you want to do at that very moment and what you’re going to postpone.
- You reduce the feeling of uncontrollability and leave behind the no, and I know what to do.
- It decreases stress and keeps anxiety at bay.
- It allows you to focus your attention on a particular task.
- You avoid repeating tasks or doing them in the wrong order.
- It decreases the risk of forgetting important things.
- You avoid engaging in trivial activities.
- It serves as a reminder of the things important to you.
- Other family members can see everything there is to do and collaborate to the extent of their ability.
- It allows you to divide big goals into small, achievable goals.
- Each annotated task launches your subconscious to achieve that goal.
- They offer you flexibility (it engraves no task list on fire; you can change it and adapt it to your needs as many times as necessary).
- Crossing items from your list increases your satisfaction and motivation to move forward.
- In short, putting your goals in writing brings you a little closer to them.
Download Free Task List Templates
Download the free task list template, both in Word and Excel format, which will you in organizing your tasks and thus help you in increasing your productivity.
You may have already gone looking for a notebook to write everything that goes through your head; well done! But don’t become a slave to your task list. The task lists should be realistic, and it’s great that you have a system that helps you not forget anything but doesn’t set out to get to absolutely everything.
With practice, you will learn to identify those tasks that do not deserve because there will always be more important and rewarding things to do. Set affordable daily goals that keep you motivated.
Getting started with a task list is critical if you want to put work overhead behind you and have time to enjoy your family.