Each day only comes with twenty-four hours so to maximise your effectiveness during the time that you have allocated for work, it is important to have a plan and be organised. The best way to keep yourself on track is with an Action List. Also known as a To-Do List, I call it an action list rather than a to-do list because I like to action the items on the list. Let’s look at how to make an action list most effective for you.
Keep your action list simple
The best way to start an action list is to bullet point your tasks in a simple format. I really like to have a little box that I can tick off on the side as I complete each task. I then go through and highlight the most urgent tasks that need to be completed straight away and I also note the larger or more time consuming tasks.
Write your action list the day before
Forward planning is really important. When you sit down to put your list together, make sure to walk through the next day in your mind so that you can picture what you have to get done.
If you plan your list the day before you can start off your day on the right foot and knock off a few items on your list before checking your emails or social media. Write down the items that you need to complete and then highlight your urgent items that need to be completed straight away. Also note the harder or more take consuming tasks.
Allocate time to each task
Now that you have your action list, you will want to take some time to figure out approximately how long you think each item will take. That way you can make sure that you have time to work on all the items that you have to get done on that particular day.
Complete your hardest tasks first
While it might seem like a good idea to hold off on the harder items on your list, it will make your day run more smoothly if you get the hardest or longest tasks completed first. In the morning, you are fresh and ready to tackle your list so starting with the toughest or longest task first makes sense. This will also remove some of the stress from your day or potentially trying to cram this task in at the end of a busy day.
Make multiple lists for different projects
If you have projects or larger tasks that involve multiple steps, then you should break these down into separate steps. This will not only ensure that you don’t miss a step, but it will also provide you with a clearer idea of what your day will hold for you and you can allocate time to each of these steps as well.
These are just some simple ways in which you can ensure that you complete your action list each day. If you would like some further motivation, try using one of our quirky and unique notebooks or journals.