The Value of an Employee To-Do List and How to Make One

To-Do or Not To-Do

Productivity and efficiency make the cogs of the business machine turn. But that machine can come to a grinding halt if your workers don't have the tools to make the best use of their time. Have you considered the value of an employee to-do list? Keep your team on track and your bottom line healthy with one small change.

The Benefits of a To-Do List

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Lists are something that can benefit every part of our lives, not just our businesses. They help keep costs low at the grocery store and even come in handy for family camping trips. In business, a to-do list can be the difference between a productive workforce and one that fails to deliver results.

They Keep You Organized
Researchers believe that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent. The problem is, when you've got a million and one things to achieve in the day, it can feel like multitasking is the only approach. In reality, a list can be a way to get through all those tasks in an organized manner. Set time aside each morning to plan out everything you need to achieve during working hours.

You Can Feel Motivated
Every time you cross something off your to-do list, your brain experiences a hit of dopamine. This chemical is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter because that's what it does. It makes us feel good.
If you have written down a day's worth of tasks, the idea of being able to tick them off can be enough motivation to do them. Your brain wants that flood of dopamine, and productivity can help you get it.

You've Got More Room for Creativity
Not every task we have lined up in a day is going to allow us to flex our creative muscles. Little things like printing spreadsheets or filing paperwork, while necessary, isn't fun.

By writing these boring tasks down, you're freeing up your mind (and time) for those more creative jobs on your list. You know you need to do the monotonous tasks, but they are taking up space on paper, rather than in your head.

Room for Delegation
Nearly 45 percent of managers in a West Monroe Partners survey said they felt overwhelmed. At least 36 percent also said they spent more time on administration than overseeing their team.
By using a to-do list, you can see all the jobs on paper that you can delegate to someone else. Sometimes, the simple act of writing down your daily job list can instigate some significant workday changes.

How to Develop a Proper To-Do List

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The benefits of a to-do list may be clear, but getting the ball rolling may not be. Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to go about establishing your daily job list.

Step 1- Find a Method that Works for You
Everyone has their own way of organizing their day. What works for you may not work for your colleagues and vice-versa. Therefore, the first thing to do is find out which method of list creation is going to suit you.
Some people prefer the traditional pen and paper method, which can feel more personal. Given the digital age we live in, others may like to make use of to-do list software and apps. No method is incorrect.

Step 2- Prioritize Your Tasks
You've chosen your to-do list type, and now it's time to prioritize your tasks. Put them in order of not only what's more pressing, but the time of day you are more productive to achieve them. For example, financial tasks that involve calculations may be better suited to the morning when your brain is fresh.

Step 3- Break Down Your Tasks
There's nothing wrong with having ambition, but it can be to your detriment when planning your days. Make sure you break your tasks down into bite-sized pieces. For example, clean the entire restaurant may not be achievable in one go. Instead, break that job down into smaller ones like do the dishes and vacuum the dining area.

Step 4- Set Timeframes
One of the most valuable reasons for compiling a to-do list is to keep your team as productive as possible. While writing down tasks can aid in this process, so too can setting timeframes. Beside each task, be sure to mention the estimated number of minutes or hours. You can then set a realistic amount of jobs per day.

Key Takeaways

Asking your employees to write a to-do list is a reasonably easy thing to do. Surprisingly, though, it has the potential to revolutionize your daily operations-

  • To-do lists can keep you organized, creative, and motivated. They can even shine a line on tasks you may delegate as a time-saving measure.
  • They are also straightforward to do but can be highly effective in helping a business to run like a well-oiled machine.
  • Find a method that works for you, such as paper or digital, prioritize your tasks, then break them down.
  • Business owners, managers, and employees can all see the value in to-do lists to manage their everyday workload.

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