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Tips for making to-do lists work for you

Tips for making to-do lists work for you

The problem with to-do lists is they only tell you what you need to do, not how to do it or in which order. Sometimes a list can even make it harder for you to prioritise. Blogger Shayla Price has put together some strategies to better manage your tasks.

The “zero” technique
In the Inbox Zero technique, all incoming emails must fit into categories to keep your inbox down to zero. You can apply the same strategy to your to-do list. Group incoming tasks under the following labels:

  • Delete: Remove anything that doesn’t need to be done
  • Delegate: Assign tasks to others where possible
  • Respond: Anything that you can’t do yourself but requires your input
  • Defer: Postpone anything that doesn’t need to be done right away
  • Do: These are the tasks to focus on now.

Bite the bullet
There will always be jobs on your list that you don’t enjoy doing. Do those first to give yourself a greater sense of accomplishment. This will cause a ripple effect that makes it easier to get other things done.

The Kanban Method
This version of the traditional to-do list has three sections: to do, doing and done. Move tasks along as you work on them. It helps you visualise the state of your list and keeps all of your deadlines in front of you rather than hidden among your list.

The Ivy Lee Method
To-do lists make us look at everything at once and makes it difficult to focus on the most important tasks. The Ivy Lee Method is designed to force you to prioritise tasks by letting you only choose the six most important ones to work on. You then prioritise those items and work on each of them one at a time, only moving to the next when one is complete.

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