Most people have felt the stress of there seemingly not being enough hours in the day to complete all projects that need finishing. It is at this time that one is likely to wish that there was some magical formula to bring a successful end to this list of tasks.
While not magic or immediate, the following four tips will have once stressed individuals running through there to-do list in short fashion.
Write It Down
GTD Method creator David Allen taught us many years ago that writing a list of tasks down is significantly more effective than attempting to remember them.
The reason is a condition known as the Zeigernik effect.
This is when remembered tasks that remain incomplete stay circulating in the mind and draw attention away from the task at hand while also adding to unhealthy stress levels.
A Single Location
Many people track tasks that need to be completed in a variety of places. Post-its, email, written notes, etc. have all been used. This is a recipe for disaster. Listing all tasks to be completed on a single tool that remains in the same location will go along way at preventing tasks from going unnoticed and lowering anxiety levels.
To be sure, the only certain thing in life is uncertainty and often times this concept plays out on a daily basis.
A great defense against unforeseen circumstances is to assign a priority level to each task that awaits. This will allow time to be spent on urgent or more important topics and when the unexpected happenings of life spring up mid-day, the most important work will often time be finished.
Most to-do lists seem like they will never end and can be real morale breakers when pondered upon all at once. Break each task up into a series of smaller, more manageable mini-tasks.
This allows for constant momentum building as each small task checked off is another victory and keeps away feelings of being overwhelmed.
A to-do list should not be merely observed as a list of unwanted chores. It is actually the daily blueprint to guide the efficiency of a personal operations center.