To Do Lists With Due Dates: Productivity
Making to do lists can feel really nice. You finally sit down to organize all that needs to get done and you’re filled with a sense of pride and hopefulness that you’ll finally tackle all these looming To-Dos. You may even start to dig right in and accomplish a bunch! Oh wait…it’s time to go to that brunch you forgot about. You’ll come back to the list another time.
But before you know it, it becomes a relic only to be rewritten several weeks (or months) later with little sense of prioritization or order to how you’re going to eventually clear up some of these seemingly never ending action items, some of which REALLY do need to be taken care of.
I am one hundo in support of starting by organizing just about anything (thoughts, questions, To-Dos, financials, etc.) but once you’ve taken care of identifying *what* you need to get done, it needs to be followed by an overwhelming sense of HOW.
One nice and easy way to get to that next level with your To-Do lists is to set due dates for everything that needs to get done. “E-mail Maxine” need not take 3.5 months to complete. Neither should “Create Repayment Plan(s) for Debt”. Both of those may be on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of level of importance but there’s a bit of a game in trying to work through your To-Dos.
Most would probably tell you to tackle the debt repayment plan first and while there may be some truth to dealing with the items that need the most attention up front, I’m also someone who likes to feel like I’m accomplishing things and sometimes that means e-mailing Maxine first because it will take me 90 seconds and it will be one less item on my list. Either way, it’s a juggling act based on your time, priorities and personal sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Creating due dates for your To-Dos then allows you to create a map as to when you’re going to work through these items both large and small.
It’s based on the time you do have so while you may like to finish laying out a plan as to how you’re going to repay debt asap, you also might peek at your calendar and realize that you’ve got two weddings, three days of shooting and a bris coming up so instead of doing what you always do and letting the item just linger, identify “when” you’ll have it done shortly after your world is able to settle.
In the meantime, you can certainly find a moment to e-mail good ‘ole Maxine on the way to your cousin’s third wedding because you’ll have set that due date a bit sooner and having created roadmaps for when you’re going to get things done may allow you to hold yourself more accountable in general.