How to Increase Productivity with To Do Lists

Time and time again you will probably hear top bloggers and entrepreneurs talking about how they create a to-do list and increase their productivity ten fold.

As great as this sounds, it usually doesn’t work out as planned.

Create a To Do ListI for one enjoy the use of a good to-do list… but rarely do I get to accomplish everything I have on my list and I rarely find the time to create these lists.

At the same time, having a to-do list is really great and does keep you motivated to check off items on your list.

So I would think it comes down to the tasks that you have at hand and what type of time and project management you are working with.

I for one know that every day ends up coming up with new tasks and they never play out as planned.

You never know who is going to send you an email or if something that needs to be taken care of immediately pops up.

For example… I didn’t even plan on writing this post today until I saw two emails in my inbox that were both on the topic of to-do lists!

So I thought it would be quite fitting to write something up, share the advice of two of my good friends and also hear what my blog readers have to say.

The two mailings I received were from Daniel Scocco and Pat Flynn… here’s what they both had to say.

Daniel Scocco said the following about increasing his productivity and using to-do lists…

daniel-scoccoI started using to-do lists around one year ago, and now I just can’t live without them. In fact when my little notebook runs out of white pages I need to go buy a new one immediately.

Usually I have two sections: a list of tasks I need to complete on the same day, and  list of tasks I need to complete in the coming 2-3 weeks.

Then Pat Flynn had a whole emailed dedicated to why he DOESN’T use to-do lists, but build project based to-do lists instead…

Pat FlynnEvery project I’m involved in, whether it’s a particular project for my blog, my LEED exam prep site, a particular iPhone application that I may be working on, etc. gets it’s own to-do list.

The project to-do list is easy to create: just start at the bottom with your end goal (finish project X), and work your way backwards from there. You’ll have a roadmap to completion all written out, and can easily check things off as you go along.

When I work, I simply allocate specific amounts of time “working on project X”, or “working on project Y”, depending on my mood, or what may seem to be more time sensitive. When “working on project X”, I work on the next available task on its own project to-do list, without trying to reach a specific point by the end of the day. I just work on it as much as I can in the time given, and check off parts of the list as I go.

I can see how both of these methods can work extremely well, especially when you are running multiple projects.

When running an internet business it’s extremely easy to get distracted, especially if you are finding your way over to Facebook and Twitter. Social networks are one of the biggest time wasters… even though they can be quite useful for finding out what people are talking about in the industry.

So with all of that said… are you a fan of using to-do lists to get more accomplish in your business?

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  1. I dont make many to do list but I have started making an idea page for myself so that when post ideas or new ways to design come into my head I have it all mapped.But maybe I should do to do list as well
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  2. Great topic and I'd like to share that having a to-do list is something I can't do without! Scheduling what I want to accomplish ahead of time helps to keep my efforts more 'directed' while also allowing me the time in advance to ponder how best to accomplish my objectives!

    I feel strongly that if you never scheduled your work ahead of time and then start to do so, you'll quickly understand the importance of having a to-do list!

    Great topic and NOT one to be ignored!

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  3. To do lists are a great way to build a strategy and follow through with it, I feel naked without a strategy, thank you for a great blog post!
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  4. I had tried such a list earlier, but then couldn't carry on with it. Seems like a boring work to me. But I'll give it another shot.
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  5. Great advice from some of the greatest people who are themselves quite productive at work. Loved to read their tips to make out a to do list and increase productivity on the move.
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