How you keep track of what you need to accomplish in a day may not seem that important. You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? A list is a list, and as long as I am getting things done it doesn’t matter how.” But I would suggest that how you accomplish keeping track of your tasks is in fact a big deal, and you can greatly impact your accomplishments with a minor change. Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect proposes that a small change made consistently over an extended period of time will result in major life change.
The common way to accomplish tracking your “To Do’s” is to create a list that grows and shrinks daily based on the number of tasks you add and complete. This helps you not to forget something by keeping the important items you need to accomplish in front of you. However, a small change in how you keep this list could give you increased productivity, an increased sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of knowing that you are always working on the most important item on your list.
The minor change that you can make to create a huge change is to simply prioritize the list. That’s it! Instead of merely keeping a list of “To Do’s”, prioritize the list by the top 3 three things you need to accomplish for the day. Now, instead of skimming the list to find the easiest tasks that you can accomplish in a couple of minutes (we all do it!), you now have your day set around accomplishing your 3 top priorities.
By making this small change it allows us to play into the Escalator Theory, which I read about recently in the book Paid To Think by David Goldsmith. Research shows that when we are close to accomplishing a goal or task we naturally become self-motivated and push ourselves a little harder in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. The reason it is called the Escalator Theory is because the study observed people riding on escalators. The study showed that nearly all riders that stood on the escalator would take the last couple steps to the top in order to arrive faster. The same is true in other areas of our lives. Each of us can think of examples of when we pushed to accomplish a deadline, or worked a little harder to complete a task before a vacation.
So use this small change to increase your productivity, utilize your natural tendency to push harder when the end is in site, and eliminate the continual carry-over of tasks that will ultimately lose their importance over time. Increase your sense of accomplishment by knowing at the end of the day that you have worked on and completed the most important tasks.
What are some ways you keep your “To Do’s” manageable and efficient? Click here to leave a reply.