One of the most productive practices used by freelancers is to create to-do lists. Creating a to-do list is suggested often but rarely explained in detail. Here are some suggestions to improve the list-making process:
Write down everything! Minor tasks can be forgotten which can lead to stress and other problems if a deadline is involved. By writing everything down, mental energies can focus on action instead of wasted on recalling information from last week.
Prepare lists the night before. Energy levels are higher at the beginning of the day and it’s best to use that energy to accomplish as much as possible, rather than figuring what needs to be done that day.
Keep the to-do list in one place, rather it be an app on the phone or notebook. The more spread out your to-do list fractions are, the more likely it is to forget to check “that one” notebook where the task was written. Checking multiple lists also wastes valuable time.
Prioritize the tasks on your list in order of urgency. Obstacles in life can prevent certain tasks from being completed. By completing the most important tasks first, the negative effects from these obstacles can be minimized.
Review the list frequently to identify tasks that are repeatedly being neglected. If a task adds no apparent value, take steps to eliminate it from the routine to make room for more important tasks.
It is easier to make lists with subtasks in digital format. By creating a list with dropdown sub-lists, it is less likely to get overwhelmed by the many subtasks that need to be completed for a single task on a list. This also helps manage larger tasks that can takes weeks to complete.
Categorize tasks by the medium or location the task must be completed in. By grouping all “email” tasks together, it can be more efficient to complete multiple, similar task in a sitting instead of writing one letter, grocery shopping, then writing another.
Appropriate tasks according to the amount of time and energy is required. It is illogical to attempt a highly demanding task when tired at the end of the day. Less energy-intensive tasks can be saved for the evening as well.