As a business owner you generally have a million things to do and the majority of those million things need to be done now, immediately, ASAP! This can be overwhelming, which is why we cover things like setting structure and routine in our Small Business Management course. We have also emphasised how efficient time management will increase your profits in past blog posts. We can’t stress enough that implementing procedures and systems will give your business more order — and your mind more peace.

Making a To-Do List

But for all the operating systems and procedures, you’ll still have a million tasks to do on a daily basis. If you find yourself jumping from one unfinished task to the next while simultaneously scrambling to prioritise your upcoming tasks, you could benefit from a little list making — a to-do list.

Perhaps a to-do list seems like an obvious fix; a fix that won’t actually solve your problems — after all, it’s just a list of the things you have to do and you already know what these are, right?

Well, yes and no. A to-do list is just that: a list, but it’s also a hugely effective organising tool. If your problem is that the million things you have to do seem endless and overwhelming, a to-do list makes all of those tasks more manageable. Best of all, it’s a list — it has a beginning and an end.

The Benefits of List Keeping

By writing all of your tasks down as a list, chances are the left side of your brain won’t be able to stop itself from throwing its two cents worth in and instilling some logical order to your list-making.

By organising each of your tasks in order of priority, you’re less likely to find yourself wasting time on trivial activities and more time attending to important matters. With a clear list of tasks organised in order of priority, you’re less likely to be distracted, too.

Aiding Productivity

Making a To-Do list will help keep you focused and there's a much higher probability you'll actually complete tasks.

Making a To-Do list will help keep you focused and there’s a much higher probability you’ll actually complete tasks.

With a clear list of things you need to do and fewer distractions you’ll also find yourself more motivated to actually complete those things on your list.

Where you may have previously felt so overwhelmed you preferred to watch cat videos on YouTube, with a to-do list you have a clear starting and end point; in effect, it becomes like a roadmap: you start a task 1 and by the last task, you’ve reached your destination.

A to-do list, simple as it seems, is actually the ultimate tool for ensuring your productivity. Of course, it’s also useful if you happen to have a memory like a sieve, and can even be a useful piece of brain training — every time you look at a list it reinforces information in your short-term memory, so you’re less likely to forget an important meeting or appointment.

How to Do a To-Do List

A to-do list can be a handwritten piece of paper on your desk, or a list in an email application like Outlook, or you can use a specially designed to-do list app. We’ll feature and review some of these in our next post. Whatever the format, however, a to-do list will keep you on the path to success.