Why To Do Lists Work

Left Undone by Pablo Picasso

Are you using to-do lists throughout your day? If not, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful productivity tools out there. It doesn’t matter if you use the old-fashioned notebook and pen, or a to-do list app on your phone. There are three reasons why they work so well when it comes to keeping you productive all day long.

To-Do Lists Make You Plan

When you sit down to make out your to-do list you’re forced to plan your day. You’re taking a look at everything you’re working on and deciding what you need to take care of today and in what order.

Depending on how you make out your list, you may even think about what items on your list have the highest priority. The simple task of making the list makes you work out a lot of things in your head ahead of time. This alone will help you stay more productive throughout your day.

To-Do Lists Keep You Focused

Having that list in front of you, or next to you as you work away will help you stay focused on what you need to work on and accomplish throughout your busy day. We are all dealing with distractions. It’s easy to lose focus and get sucked into meaningless tasks and conversations.

With your list you know at a glance what you should be working on and if you make yourself get into the habit of not calling it a day until each item on your list is taken care of, you’re less likely to allow those distractions to take over a big chunks of your day.

Only Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Are Willing To Die Having Left Undone.
– Pablo Picasso –

To-Do Lists Give You A Feeling Of Accomplishment

Checking of an item on your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment. For some this is more effective when they can cross something of a piece of paper. For others, clicking the little check mark on the app does the trick. Try them both and see what works best for you.

Take a moment to appreciate how much you’ve gotten done each time you check an item of the list. Then use that feeling of accomplishment to power you through the next item. Rinse and repeat and before you know it, you’ve made it through another highly productive day.

If you’re not in the habit of using daily to-do lists yet, I hope this encourages you to give it a serious try. Make a list of five things you want to get done before you call it a night today. See how that goes and then get in the habit of working from a daily list starting tomorrow morning.

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