To-do lists. Those manic little scribblings are designed to help us collect our tasks in one place and cross off each task in triumph the moment it is complete. The problem is sticking to them.
There are many reasons why traditional to-do lists can fail, and many ways you can solve these problems. Let’s look at some common to-do list problems and solutions, and some mobile apps as an alternative to those hastily written Post-It notes or doodles on your hand.
- Loading your to-do list with too many tasks – To-do lists are often created at the start of the day when you are feeling enthusiastic and raring to go. When you are in this frame of mind it can be tempting to put too many tasks on your to-do list and set yourself impossible goals. Instead, start by prioritizing your tasks. Include the most important at the top of the list and those that could wait until tomorrow at the bottom. Set yourself up to succeed.
- Give yourself some buffer space – Are you allowing for breaks and interruptions when you compile your list? If you aren’t then you could be setting yourself up to fail before you even start your day. Schedule in breaks and try to keep interruptions to an absolute minimum. If you are not sure how much buffer room to allow, monitor what you do on a typical day and make a note of when you are most likely to break, e.g. for lunch or coffee. Downtime is important and will keep you refreshed and productive.
- An unproductive work environment – Problems such as poor lighting and uncomfortable seating can take their toll when you are sitting in front of a monitor for hours on end, and could cause your motivation to take a dive. Updating your workspace with the right equipment will help you to stay more productive throughout the day. The BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp is just one of the big changes you can make to the way you work. Specifically designed for screen-reading, you’ll always have enough light coverage for those important tasks.
- Paper lists are limited and easy to lose – If your desk is already covered in piles of notes and other paperwork, what chance does your little paper to-do list have of standing out? If your to-do lists are no longer working for you, it could be time to upgrade to one of the many task manager apps available. Always on and always synced, you’ll instantly know what you need to be doing and when. Take a look at some of the most popular to-do list apps below.