How to be more organized with task lists

Productivity Arata! If you’re having trouble organizing, today’s tip is to use task lists. Lists will help you reach your goals and, above all, will make you less of a stressed, unorganized and forgetful person.

Think about that recent moment when you forgot to do something important. Didn’t that cause frustration, stress, a feeling of guilt? Well, if you had a list on which you could mark whether something is finished, everything would be easier.

1. The task list reduces our stress

In order for your brain to function at its maximum potential, you don’t want to waste brainpower on nervousness or unnecessary stress. If you use lists to organize yourself, you can avoid a load of anxiety that comes from not having control over things.

What is the advice that we give to those busy friends that complain they have a million things to do?

The first thing is to be calm, breathe deeply and do one thing at a time. The worst thing there is to lose focus, trying to do many things at once and not doing anything right  

All that fuels the fear of not being able to handle it. But as soon as we start creating lists, our anxiety fades down because now we know we won’t forget something important. It’s written down.

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2. The task list improves the chances of achieving goals

Professor Gail Matthews performed a study with 267 participants and observed that the act of writing our tasks improves the chances of accomplishment. That’s connected to the fact that by writing we earn more consciousness and commitment to the task.

Think about it: if I’m too lazy to even write a sentence about it, will I really be motivated to do it?

3. The dynamics between planning and executing

In order to stop suffering from anxiety, we need to have the global picture, to know what exactly are the priority tasks, to know which ones are optional, what is the hierarchy of importance (this is called the planning phase, which can be finished quickly), and then move on to the execution phase.

No plan is perfect when it is conceived. Every plan needs to be updated as it is performed. Maybe while executing it we realize that we have to change the hierarchy of some tasks, that we can delete other tasks or even add new tasks. In other words, the planning and execution phases aren’t completely separated. 

If you have been following Arata Academy’s work, be it here through our free YouTube videos (subscribe) or through our advanced courses for our students, you have realized that I always emphasize the value of getting things done, of executing the actions that bring us results.

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But at the same time, we have to realize the value of the planning phase, since it is the one that allows for a correct execution. I repeat: Without good planning there is no good execution. 

4. How to create your lists

First, you will write down the tasks, it doesn’t matter if you will use paper and pen or some digital app. Write down everything you need to do.

After writing, it’s time to organize your list separating tasks by the area of your life (professional, familiar, academic, list of groceries for the house) and, finally, the priority. I have explained this in detail in this link.

I really want you to watch that video so that you understand the structure of time management in order to get organized with task lists. In the next video of our Productivity Arata series I’ll go on, alright?

The most important thing in this process, for those who want to be more organised with their task lists, is to know the three priority tasks. You will dedicate yourself to them.

And regarding the others, you will actively AVOID them. If it’s not a priority, don’t do it! Finish the priority first.

And if by chance your priority activity takes a long time, many hours or many days to be performed, break it down. Divide this activity in smaller pieces so that you can finish the priority and dedicate a bit of the rest of the time to things that aren’t a priority but also important for having balance in your life. That’s the healthy focus that we will achieve.

Your task list is always a helpful tool. When you start to feel scared to even look at your task list, that means it is a mess and you’re not differentiating between different contexts and dimensions in your life. Maybe it doesn’t have priorities. Maybe the tasks aren’t clear or aren’t even doable.

Visit this link here now to see a more detailed video about the top mistakes and what to do to avoid them.