The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish; for he learns to economize his time.— Judge Hale
Haste and rashness are storms and tempests, breaking and wrecking business; but nimbleness is a full, fair wind, blowing it with speed to the haven.— Thomas Fuller
Drive thy business, let not thy business drive thee. — Benjamin Franklin— Benjamin Franklin
A “To do” list refers to the list or table of the tasks that need to be done in a given time, and the duties arranged according to their priorities. To ensure all the jobs are organized according to the priorities, it is essential to use the ABC method to categorize the task. The ABC methods assign the most important and urgent task letter A and those are the things which require completion first. Letter represent tasks that are not urgent, but they are essential. C refers to the jobs that are not important nor urgent and get the least priority.
Therefore there are several benefits of using the ABC system in your working area or your activities. By using the ABC method, you will be able to attend to the most urgent task before doing the others. Some task needs to be done before the time expires because after the time is over, you will not be able to do them again. Therefore in this article, we are going to look at how to use the ABC method of organizing your “to-do” list. Some of the top tips include
1. Ensure you keep an excellent ongoing record each day
If you are a very busy person with a lot of things to accomplish every day. It is essential to ensure you prepare a “to-do” list that will guide you on what to do each day. When you do not have a “to-do” list each day, there will be higher chances of doing things that are not essential in that day. Therefore the first thing to consider is to ensure you have an ongoing “to do” list. Since some vital task can arise, ensure you always update your list daily or weekly.
2. Include the essential things in your list
Some of the essential things that you should include in your list are such as due date of the tasks, name, a brief description of the job, the required time to complete, date and the task name. Those details are essential to ensure you give the right task the needed priority. If you are dealing with office work that involves different people, ensure you indicate the person required to handle a particular job and at what time.
3. Review your “to-do ”list
It is essential to consider your “to do” list before you begin to categorize the list according to the ABC system. The purpose of reviewing the “to do” list is to ensure you have included all the task in your list. Therefore if you are preparing a “to-do” list for one week, assure that the list contains all the functions that you are required to do throughout the week. Also here you can break the immense task into the smaller jobs and indicate the time needed to complete them.
4. Prioritize your list
At this step, it is now the time to prioritize the tasks in the list to ensure you work on them according to their priorities. Make a table which is assigned letters A to C. The table should include the time needed to do specific work. Also, the due date should be included on the table.
What priorities should you assign to letter A?
The task that should be assigned to letter A should be a very urgent one. These kind of jobs are the ones with minimal time and are very important. Also, the tasks which should be included in the A table should be done very urgently.
Priorities assigned letter B.
The tasks that are in the table named B are the ones which are essential but not very urgent as compared to the job in A. the task in this category is not very time-critical. They can wait for some time before their completion. For instance, if you are a business person who needs to deliver customers’ orders, you should start with the ones that need to be performed within the shortest time possible. The duties with few remaining days can be put on table B while the ones with few hours on A.
Priorities assigned letter C.
kind of task that is included in this category are not urgent and also are not
necessary, but they should be done. Some of the things to assign here include
the party invites, interruptions, and some social invitations.
However, if you have several tasks in each of the three tables, AB and C, you can arrange them as follows. In A, you can have A1, A2, A3, and many more. The A1 should be the task that needs to be done urgently, and others can follow. The same thing can be done on the other tables.
Therefore after considering the above discussed ABC method of organizing your “to-do” list, now the other essential tips you should know to include estimating the time for each activity, ensuring you follow your ABC method in your list, follow your schedule, learn to reject some offers, be accurate and do everything as planned unless unavoidable circumstance arise. Therefore by considering the above-discussed tips, you will be able to organize your “to do” list and succeed personally or professionally.
Time is like money; the less we have of it to spare, the further we make it go.— H.W. Shaw
Let’s face it; we all forget sometimes. With the copious amount of information our brain stores, it is extremely difficult or to just put it plainly, impossible, to recall all of them. For this reason, we usually need something to help us remember what we are supposed to do and at what time. A to-do-list is one of the best ways to do this. So why are to-do-lists important to have? Well, let’s find out.
- It helps you save time
The fact that time can neither be stopped nor reversed makes it one of the most precious things in the world. When making a to-do-list, you usually write down when certain activities should be completed especially those with deadlines. This helps you complete them early enough so that you don’t rush hours to the deadline and end up doing poor work that could potentially lead to loss of clients or even your job. Moreover, you get ample time to complete all your other tasks. We would recommend setting time limits for all your activities. This makes you even more productive.
2. Allows you to set priorities
Letting your head organize your work as you go is like playing Russian roulette. You are typically leaving everything to chance, and soon enough, you will end up failing to accomplish a more urgent task simply because your head dint have it on the top priorities. Making a to-do-list, however, allows you to arrange your tasks from the most important to the least important. By doing so, even when your head is flooded with other thoughts, you are able to remember what task needs to be looked at urgently. In short, you will never skip an important task.
3. Helps you reduce stress and anxiety
Everyone wants to have a stress-free work life, and the vision of such a life varies for most people. However, we can all agree that when you’re happy, your family is happy and your boss or client is happy then you are less stressed in life. Now imagine a situation where you keep on waking up in the middle of the night to complete work you should have done during the day because well, you forgot. First of all, you will keep disturbing your family with your movements. Secondly, you will be panicking because you’re working on a limited time. Thirdly, the work you will deliver might not satisfy your client. So to summarize this, neither your family nor your client will be happy, and this will, of course, increase your stress level. With a to-do list, you are able to avoid such problems. As a matter of fact, just having it gives you a sense of confidence that you will be able to finish the tasks required of you. This already reduces your stress the moment you wake up in the morning to work.
4. You are able to monitor your progress
We all love it when we put a tick or cross out an accomplished task on our to-do-list. It usually shows progress. Whether it was a personal goal like shedding off some extra weight or a professional one like making your first $100,000, you are able to see your progress and achievements. This usually motivates you to even go an extra step and get that body you desire so much or even make more money from your work. This is the power of writing down what you want to do. It shows you just how far you have come and how far you can go.
5. You become a more organized person
Prominent people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have a system. They know how to organize themselves in a way that helps them get things done faster and efficiently. That is why they have achieved so much in their life. The main reason for having a to-do-list is to keep you organized. It helps make tasks easier and more manageable. It also shows that you have a plan. A person with a plan is more likely to achieve his/her goals faster and more effectively than one who just dives in aimlessly.
As you can see, a to-do-list not only improves your memory but also makes you more productive, less stressed, organized, and motivated to get on with your work every day you wake up. So get your to-do-list notebook or app and start planning today.
We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.— Diogenes, 4th Century BC philosopher