Taking the time to jot down a list can be an enormously calming activity. Not only does it give your mind some much-needed breathing room, but all of those tasks that need completing become glaringly obvious and organized on paper.

To maximize your time, having a to-do list is an absolute must for most people. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly tasks – creating a list will ensure that you have clear directions on the path from where you are now to achieving all of your goals!

I am a huge fan of making lists – it’s like I can finally exhale and all my stress just dissipates. But sometimes, even for me as a master list maker, the act of creating an endless to-do list could be exhaustingly daunting. So now I recognize that there are certain guidelines needed in order to move from being someone who simply makes lists, to a person who consistently succeeds at ticking off those very same items on their checklists! Effectively prioritizing requires more than just jotting down a list of tasks. It’s essential to be intentional in our decisions and not simply dump everything that comes to mind onto the page. Although this is a great starting point, it should not be where you stop; strategic action needs to follow for any sort of progress or success!

Be More Specific

Ambiguity can add extra, and even worse, hidden tasks to your schedule. Split up huge goals into smaller chunks that you can accomplish over a set period of time – like setting aside an hour in the day for replying to emails or returning phone calls. Usually, this isn’t enough when it comes to calling back friends and family though; which is why taking advantage of vehicles during transit times is so beneficial! If you take 15 minutes out of every day while on your train ride home or plane flight to draft emails etc., then those saved moments will soon start adding up!

Be Practical With Time Allocation

A crucial element in organizing your to-do list is practicality. Keep track of how much time you have and set reasonable, achievable deadlines for each task. Ask yourself how long would it actually take to finish that job. Schedule accordingly in your diary or notebook. I’ve made the mistake before where I mistakenly assigning too little time to tasks that end up taking more effort than expected; like setting two hours for a report which eventually took four hours of my day! Therefore, be aware of this pitfall and assess beforehand the true amount of time needed for each project on your schedule.

Arrange Tasks in Order of Importance

Organizing your tasks according to importance will make a huge difference in how you approach and complete them. It is of utmost significance that we prioritize our responsibilities, work commitments, and lifestyle based on personal values and beliefs. My own method involves forming my lists by the most significant outcome; this technique allows me to assess what’s imperative while abiding by my moral code.

Delegate Wherever Possible

For those of us who consider ourselves “Type-A” planners, delegation can be an immense challenge. That’s something I have learned firsthand over the years. However, if we want to make the most out of our time and resources, it is necessary to rely on others from time to time in order for tasks to be completed successfully. Everyone has a talent or specialty that surpasses ours; so why not take advantage and join forces with them when possible? By doing this, you’ll free up your schedule from tedious jobs which would otherwise waste your valuable energy!

Allow Ample Time for Unplanned Circumstances

Anticipate the unexpected! Establish a contingency plan and make time to ensure that it is achievable. It’s sensible to put aside certain periods in your schedule for alternate strategies, as life doesn’t always go according to plan.

Make the Best Use of Technology

Staying organized is an amazing way to live in harmony. Apps such as Evernote, Passbook, and Wunderlist have been incredibly useful for creating a list of tasks and actually following through with them effectively. Other tools like Calendar, Reminder, and Outlook are also beneficial. Personally, I’m more partial to Wunderlist – there’s nothing quite so rewarding than ticking off something you’ve achieved!

Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed with responsibility or let planning your time take away from productivity. Make practical lists and be mindful of how you manage your time, and you’ll soon see results.

What tactics do you use to organize your daily tasks? Share with us in the comments below!

Find out from Gerri Elliott, Executive Vice President at Juniper Networks and Chief of Sales, how she manages to stay organized with her overwhelming workload!

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