To-do lists are one of the best ways to organize your work and your day to day. They allow to keep priorities in order, as well as the tasks that the user must undertake throughout the day, improving productivity and avoiding distractions and procrastination.
To-do lists work very well in conjunction with other productivity methods such as GTD (Get Things Done), created by David Allen and which is based on making a list of all tasks, organizing them by priority and doing them, so that they are frees the mind of all those pending tasks, not being necessary to remember them, which allows the user to focus on other things, such as the effective completion of all that work.
To help users organize their day-to-day and all their tasks, there is a huge variety of applications for task management, such as the ones shown below:
- Keep by Google
- Remember the milk
Tips to manage your time and be more efficient
“Time is money”, especially when we talk about managing your company. Whether you are creating an amazing website or starting an exciting offline project , this article is for you. Time management is about making smart use of your time and doing efficient work rather than hard work. This requires planning, patience and a lot of discipline. If you are motivated but doubt where to start, don’t be afraid! Here we compiled a list of the 12 best time management tips to help you get started.
01. Set clear goals
When creating your business plan, we recommend you consider two very important aspects: designing a timeline and setting goals. While designing a timeline will give you an idea of how long it will take to achieve what you want, setting your goals will allow you to focus your energy on what you really want to achieve. These two actions will make you more productive and allow you to plan your time effectively. Think in parallel of your long-term plans and goals, as well as your short-term organization chart. Take half an hour of your morning routine to review your daily tasks. Challenge yourself by doing your hardest task first to get rid of it as soon as possible.
02. Create a routine
Just like when you do a weekly exercise chart, the more you get used to your routine, the easier everything will be. Create a daily routine that works for you and try to stick to it responsibly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a morning person or a creature of the night: make a chore plan that you can stick to, that allows you to be more productive, and that you can stick with throughout the week. It’s proven! Your body responds naturally to repetitive behavior. You will see the results in no time!
03. Avoid distractions
Life is full of wonderful distractions. Your favorite TV show, your pet, texting, Facebook and we could go on for years. But if you want to get the job done right, planning is what is going to help you. Our advice for beginners is to convince yourself that the time scheduled in the plan is 100% dedicated to getting the job done. Close all browser tabs, put your phones away (and silence them). There are people who like to listen to music when they work and there are others who enjoy a meditation session to help them focus. If you work in a public space or at home, it is key to find a quiet place where you feel comfortable to get to work.
04. Leave a margin of time between tasks
It is not about becoming a work machine. It would be incredible, yes, but it doesn’t do. No exaggeration is good. The human brain can concentrate for about 90 minutes so it is vital to give your body and mind a break. This is just as important for productivity as sticking to the routine. You can stretch your legs for 20 minutes, eat something not too heavy, or brush the cat. It’s the same. The important thing is that you take time for yourself to allow yourself to improve your concentration. If you relax, you perform more. Learn to identify when you need a break.
05. Value your hours of sleep
The average human needs about eight hours of sleep for his body and mind to function at their best. According to research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, people who have healthy sleep habits are healthier, more productive, and less stressed. What happens is that when you work, your brain accumulates a large amount of information that it collects throughout your day. And when you sleep, the brain switches to processing mode, taking all the collected information and organizing it in a way that makes sense of everything. Even your mind knows the value of the organization ! Listen to your body and respect the amount of sleep you need. Also, think that your friends prefer you more human than zombie.
06. Stay healthy
Who doesn’t like pizza or hors d’oeuvres? We are all entitled to these pleasures! But internally we know well that they are not the healthiest options. Keeping your body healthy is very important for your well-being.
Consuming too much sugar or salt can be very distracting and cause food or snack cravings that will end up making you feel more tired than energized. Make sure you eat a healthy diet with foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables with hummus, or granola. And since we are, if you are eating well, why not combine your diet with physical exercise? Whether it’s yoga, running, or biking, 45 minutes a day can help boost your energy, focus, and performance. And this will also help you sleep better. Another helpful tip? Get out and enjoy the sunshine. Take breaks outside and get your precious vitamin D. Don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of water!
07. Ask for suggestions and opinions
You’ve been working on a project for days, everything is flowing, you’ve done a lot of work and, suddenly, you go blank and get stuck. This is a good time to think. If you focus a lot of time on an idea or task that you are not very sure about, it may take you longer than it should to finish. In those cases, your friends will be of great help to you. Ask them for a hand: give you a second opinion and give you constructive comments that point you in the right direction. Applying this advice can really help you in the long run as you won’t fall back on the same idea over and over again. You never know where a new perspective may come from that can help solve a task that had us stuck.
08. Say goodbye to clutter
Remember when your mother used to scold you for not tidying up your room when you were a child? How annoying it was to keep your space organized and clean! But mom was right. Order is a good life lesson. Whether you are one of those who always go with their notebook or those who use the computer for everything, make sure you keep everything neat and legible. Don’t waste your valuable time looking for that paper where you had written down something important. Throw what you don’t use in the trash, wash your coffee cup and organize your desk with, for example, folders, dividers and labels.
09. Do not worry about failures
Nobody likes to fail. True. Now, better to discard something that doesn’t work than to insist on failure over and over again. The sooner you get into work, the sooner you will know the result and this will save you from worrying about hours of uncertainty. It may sound strange but failure is a big part of success as it gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and helps us grow. If you worry, you stop. But sometimes you have to. When it comes to your business, don’t be afraid to jump in the dark and start over.
10. Set priorities
One of the most effective ways to stay focused on achieving your goals is to prioritize. Knowing how to rank your tasks affects the time you spend doing them and your overall success. Start by creating a to-do list that you have to do and be sure to sort them according to the effort that will take you. It’s time to start planning your time responsibly. By creating a list, you will improve the visualization of your goals and thus you can determine what is really more important (or more urgent, which is not necessarily the same).
To be in control of everything, what a temptation. But the very thought of being in every detail can cause a bit of anxiety. That said, and it doesn’t matter if we hate to admit it, we can’t do everything ourselves. You may be an expert on different issues but it’s great to ask for help on those that you don’t master like a champion. Because, yes, there are things that can be better if they are done by others. Thus, it is key that you consider delegating. This will reduce your workload and allow you to be less stressed and consequently more productive.
12. Know your limits (and learn to say no!)
We all have a bit of Superman or Wonder Woman inside, but even so it is impossible to cover everything. There will be times when an interesting job proposal or irresistible project appears, but no matter how great the temptation, it is important to know when to say no. Remember that there are certain sacrifices you must make if you want to achieve your goals. Among them, turning down options from time to time also counts.