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We are all familiar with those days when we feel like there are a thousand things to do, and too little time on our hands. Too many tasks can be overwhelming, and we may feel like we are losing control and risking forgetting important parts of our work. This is all truer when you are running your own business and juggling priorities every day, isn’t it?
It really helps to keep track of your tasks. This will allow you to know what needs to be done and when, and what has already been taken care of. This is why to-do lists are so popular.
In this article, we will share with you a few simple tricks that will keep you in control of your list.
Keep it together
Virtually everyone has a to-do list. But for many, this is a diffused – or even scattered – group of items. They may have a colleague’s email outlining the targets for the week, multiple post-it notes on their desk, and the tasks on their computer’s calendar.
You may be surprised by how much can change when you bring all these items together.
The first step in optimizing your to-do list should be to keep it in one place that you can return to throughout the day to check your progress. It will save you time and prevent you from forgetting important pieces.
Review and approve it
A great place to start is scheduling a morning review and an end of the day review. This is great for prioritization and perspective. It will allow you to batch your tasks into categories in the morning while reminding you of your goals.
Why do this? When you are later working on spreadsheets or replying to emails, it will be easier for you to remember that bigger, greater idea, because you will have reviewed those tasks in the morning and decided that they were necessary for you to reach your goals.
Take smart breaks
Time management is certainly at the heart of successfully completed to-do lists. But breaks are at the heart of productive time management.
A popular time management method is the Pomodoro technique. It is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timers that its inventor used as a university student. It focuses on smart breaks that boost productivity. Without breaks, everyone burns out, so it is important to alternate longer work time sections with shorter breaks, and let your mind relax. In the end, you will find that you will have worked longer and better than you would have without taking breaks, and your to-do list will thank you.
Hopefully, these tips will help you manage your tasks better. There are plenty of tricks and techniques out there, but of course, the results are very subjective. We believe that the above tips are simple and universal enough that anyone will benefit from them.