Before some period of time, I have an interesting conversation with an entrepreneur. While we discuss, I noticed a sheet of paper before him with activities for that day. Those that were finished were crossed with a pen and at the moment when I arrived the last one was not completed and still in progress. It is a To-Do list, something that makes each of us more organized and more productive allowing the completion of all activities for the current day.
In my case as a To-Do list, I am using an iPhone and Desktop app named as OmniFocus.
It doesn’t matter if that list is a kind of application, or a piece of paper, or a notebook. It is more important that it exists and is used by all who work something.
But, it is also evident that sometimes it does not perform as we think it will perform. This means that we don’t succeed to complete everything we plan for today and because of that some activities will be moved for the next day. This will lead to overwhelming and again will suffer our achievement.
That’s why I came up with 6 ways that can help us to always finish everything on our to-do list.
1. A personal commitment to finish everything on your list
Although it does not necessarily mean that it can be of great help, however, if we commit to ourselves that something should be done, it is more likely that we will finish it. Otherwise, without commitment very quickly, our brain will leave these things for tomorrow, and so on forever, until we realize that we can not finish them.
When I have struggled with a list with full of tasks, someday I have realized that I give up too easily from many tasks on my list waiting to be done for months. Some of them were exciting ideas I wanted to implement. But, how time goes on, it becomes clear that I can not finish them. The first excitement when I put them on the list was gone. So, it was easier for me to delete them. That was wasted potential. Good ideas become dead.
So, be smart and commit yourself that you will always try to finish everything you have no your to-do list.
2. Prioritize the Tasks on Your To-Do List
There is always something more important than other activities on our To-Do list. Prioritization provides that those most critical tasks and activities will be the first on the list. In such a way we will start tomorrow with them, not with some trivial things.
By completing the most essential tasks, the percentage of successfully finished tasks on a daily basis will be much more significant.
Sometimes, I was in a situation when I have only the list without any prioritization of the tasks on that list. It was terrible for my productivity because:
- Many times I find myself that I am not following the tasks order on the list. So, if the order is not important, I can quickly bring chaos into my to-do list. I start with the last task, then go at the middle, and so on. And this is not so evil if the tasks will be finished. The wrong thing is that I start not to have the respect to my list. So, in such a situation it was much easier for me to throw away many tasks.
- Without the prioritization I easily allow other peoples priorities to become my priorities. In such a way my duties continue to stay on my to-do list unfinished until I decide to delete them. So, my personal productivity in that period of time was not at the level I wanted to be.
3. Analyze Your Time
The time you have available is 24 hours a day containing sleeping, entertainment, time with your family, watching TV, etc. However, when you know how much time you have to carry out your daily tasks, you can divide the tasks accordingly. In such a way you will allow yourself a specific time to finish your tasks.
When I make an analysis of my time, it becomes clear that I am not systematical at all. I didn’t know when I will work on what. I didn’t know how I will spend my time tomorrow. My time was chaotic. This analysis helps me to learn more about me and how I spend my available time. After this, I have started to work in many smaller time slots.
4. Increasing your time
As one additional option that can help you to finish everything on your to-do list is to increase the time you spend on those activities. This means reducing your time for sleeping, entertainment, family, watching TV, etc.
But, also you can increase your time through an appropriate delegation process (one of the managerial activities) for activities that are not so important for you.
You can read more about the time and how much time we have here.
As another option to finish everything you have on your to-do list is to start with the right optimization.
What does to-do list optimization mean?
Optimization is the process of optimizing the activities included in the list according to your capacity and competencies. You may want to complete 100 activities, but your capacity and the time capacity will allow you only 15.
6. Review of Your Prioritization
As you use your to-do list more often, the “self-learning” process is activated. On the other hand, the priorities are not always the same, they are a variable category. Therefore, from time to time, review the prioritization you are using.