Lists help us sort and clarify our thoughts, make sense of the world around us, define tasks and set targets, and ultimately increase our productivity. We make lists before writing an article or report to better organize our thoughts, before going on vacation to determine the places we want to see, or before shopping to make sure we won’t forget anything. Lists help us think better.
Making Effective To-Do Lists: The Secret to Achieving Success In Any Field
High achievers in all fields make lists, from Benjamin Franklin to Umberto Eco. The Great Gatsby himself used to make lists. Lists are not only useful to individuals, though, but can also be game changers for small businesses.
Does your business have a To-Do list? If not, you’re probably not as productive and as you could be. That because when put on paper, plans and resolutions are more powerful and significant, and they are less likely to be forgotten or neglected.
Here’s how to make an effective To-Do list for your small business:
1. Keep your list small so that it won’t become overwhelming.
Don’t add insignificant tasks to your list, only those that matter. For example, if you’re searching for a social media company, you don’t want to list every site or directory you’ll search, or you’ll spend more time on creating lists than on accomplishing your tasks. A simple "find a social media company" will do.
2. Define your objectives clearly, breaking larger projects into small tasks.
In order to feel a sense of accomplishment as an entrepreneur you need to be striking out items from your list every day, which means you can’t put on your list only vague, long-term objectives like 'Increase Social Media Popularity.'
Aim for a percentage, set a deadline, and list the strategies you’ll be using. You will have a clearer sense of your progress, and it will also be easier for you to find the right social media services Bay area for you.
3. Prioritize without mercy.
It’s the secret of building an effective list. The first entries are the most important, since those are first on your mind. Breaking those down into smaller tasks and completing them will help you make more progress than you would accomplishing the dozen petty entries below.
4. Make your management team write a to-do list at the end of each day.
It should feature the most important tasks that have to be done on the next day, and be prioritized. It’s crucial to keep the list short, say only 5 entries. The next day your management team will work on the tasks, trying to accomplish them all. Leftover tasks become the new priorities of tomorrow and so on. Here’s a fine example to illustrate this.
Whether these tasks concern your business operations, your marketing campaign, or your SEO campaign with a social media company, they will dramatically improve your efficiency.
5. Work on the most important tasks first.
If you begin with the less important ones, by the time you’re done with them you might not have enough time and energy for the important ones. However challenging or resource-demanding the first tasks may be, the success of your business lies in accomplishing them.
Image Credit: [Courtney Dirks]