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How to Create a Truly Beneficial To-Do List

Are you a list maker? If so, you’re not alone. Lots of people love lists, and for good reason! There are some powerful benefits to lists, especially if you know how to maximize their impact.

Paula Rizzo is an Emmy Award-winning media strategist who helps others spread their message to a broad audience. She’s also a big believer in lists! In fact, she’s written 2 books all about them.

If you’re not a list maker, here’s why Paula thinks you might want to start:

  1. You’ll be more likely to follow through

Did you know that you are 33% more likely to do something if you write it down?  The fact of the matter is, you have a better chance of actually meeting your goals if you put them on paper (your phone or computer will work, too). That goes for everything from groceries to chores to life goals.

That’s right, even the big stuff should be included. How many times have you forgotten an item at the grocery store and said – if only it was on the list! Let that hold true for things like get a new job and get married, too.

When you write things down – both big and small – it becomes a ritual. Before long, you’ll be more likely to get them done.

  1. You’ll learn to prioritize

A huge benefit of keeping lists is that they give you the ability to set your priorities. That’s because you can learn from them. When you get to the end of a given day, take a peek at your list. What did you get done? And more importantly, what is still left to do?

Explore why you didn’t get to the rest of the list. When you evaluate your ability to complete your list, you can start to prioritize what needs to be done. The most important will move to the top and the rest will happen as time allows. With practice you’ll start to shape the rest of your life this way, too.

  1. You’ll be more productive

For list lovers, one of the main draws to writing down to-dos is crossing them off. If just feels good! In fact, have you ever written something on your list after it’s complete just so you can cross it off?

The right lists can help you do more, especially when you build them with productivity in mind. Start by asking yourself – how and when do I work best? Perhaps it’s first thing in the morning. That may be a great time to knock out the tasks that require more concentration. Schedule your tasks when you’re likely to be more productive and you will be.

  1. You’ll be motivated to go further

The right list can also be encouraging. That’s because once you see you’ve accomplished something, you start to believe you can do it again. With practice, what may start out as a simple to-do list can morph into bigger lists that leave an impact.

You’ll be motivated to meet your goals and when you do, you can then ask – what’s next?

Ready to create a great list? Here’s how to get started:

  • Be consistent – Paula suggests making a new list each night. That way when you start your day, you have a road map waiting for you and your intention is clear.
  • Keep it realistic – Only put things on the list that you have the time and resources to get done. If there are things on there that aren’t really making an impact consider outsourcing them or removing them altogether.
  • Check your ego at the door – The key to a truly great list is to put the right things on it – not just what you think you should be doing. Stop trying to impress others with your accomplishments. Curate your lists to include what you want to do and leave the rest off.

A great list – or lists – can be a game changer in your life. Get started today!

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