Posted in Positive Habits, Time Management

List It Out On A List

Ever experienced the whirlwind of thoughts, tasks, goals, etc moving through your mind, making your focus and concentration drop and wander? Well, it happened with me. It was like each day my brain was totally focused on trying to remember what it has on its to-do list, leaving me exhausted and unable to actually accomplish any of the tasks on it.

Forgotten events, missed birthdays, unaccomplished tasks, no idea of where I was heading to, what my days must contain to succeed in what I want to succeed in was enough to make me take a deep breath and STOP….!!!

To - Do List remembering all the tasks to accomplish
From flickr[dot]com by John Athayde
Then I experimented with various ways of organizing my tasks and out of various methods, lists are my most favorable and most loved method. Whatever I have to do, I now list it down and relieve my mind of the task of remembering what it has to actually accomplish and focus on accomplishing the things actually.

Now there are various ways of listing the tasks. Here is a brief description of each method that I have tried.

  • The simple pen and paper is all that is needed. List each task on this list when you are brainstorming the tasks you have to accomplish (most preferably the night before or early in the morning). Keep that list with you, in your pocket or handbag or wallet. Look through it and go on accomplishing the tasks. And once when you remember something that needs to be done and you have forgotten to add it previously you can now add it to the list and forget about it till the time comes to accomplishing it.
  • The Matrix List. Divide your paper in four parts and label the columns as Urgent and Not Urgent, and the rows as Important and Not Important. Now you have four boxes , one being Urgent & Important, Not Urgent But Important, Urgent But Not Important and Not Urgent & Not Important. Now list the tasks in the appropriate box according to the description they fit. Use your common sense now and go on checking them off.
An examplary model of matrix list
The Matrix List
  • The ABC List. Simply list out the tasks and mark the most important ones with A, the intermediate ones with B and the least important ones with C. Complete the tasks in order of importance. You can even squeeze the C tasks in your breaks to relax and accomplish something at the same time.
  • 123 and done. The same method of listing and prioritizing as that of ABC List. The only difference being the 123’s instead of ABC’s.
  • Digital Lists. You can even add your tasks in a Google Calendar task list or use an app for making lists and taking notes. I use ColorNote. Its simple, easy and fast to use and manage my tasks for me with different reminder systems and ability of rescheduling and copy pasting of common dailies.

Now list out your mind’s list and relieve yourself from the whirlwind of thoughts and tasks moving in your head and focus on checking off each item as it goes to completion. Try the methods, combine them to suit your needs and stick with the one that is best for you.


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