Being good at planning your personal To Do list can improve your productivity. It can also make you a better team manager. There’s no secret formula for shrinking a large list of tasks. But there are a couple of things you can do to organize and schedule your tasks better.
Never List a Big Project as a Single Task
Always break down long and challenging tasks into smaller ones. No task on your list should require more time or effort than you can put in a single work session, i.e. 30, 45, or 60 minutes at most. In this way, you’ll be crossing tasks off your list all the time. In addition to the obvious satisfaction of getting tasks done, you’ll also be getting a mood boost that can keep you running at top speed for longer.
Use the 1-3-5 Formula Daily
Rather than trying to get done as many tasks as possible — and always feeling at the end of the day that you could have done a few more — apply this simple formula: do one large task, three medium-sized tasks, and five small ones. The performance boost you’ll get with this approach more than justifies the extra time you have to spend on prioritizing tasks.
“Eat That Frog!” as Brian Tracy Says
Put the task you want to do least first on your list. Get it done first thing in the day, before lunch. Each time you get done the most challenging task, you feel a release of energy and satisfaction that can help you get through the rest of your list faster.
Use a Flexible Task Management App
Your task management app should help you plan tasks more intuitively than on paper. You need to be able to set deadlines and assign any tasks fast. You should also be able to take your tasks on the go on mobile.
Outsourcing has never been easier or cheaper thanks to platforms like freelancer.com or upwork.com. It can be especially effective for dealing with tasks that are giving you trouble because they’re not your specialty. For example, you may think that you can save money by redesigning your website yourself, but a professional designer could get the work done in half the time, justifying the investment. If you decide to outsource, factor that early on, as finding the right freelancer for the job can add at least a few more hours to your task time.