The Ways Successful People Use Their To-do List

Many people have to-do list but not everyone knows how to make most effective to-do list. That’s also one of factors that distinguish successful people and the rest. They know how to use to-do list to get their maximum productivity for success.

Imagine this, you have listed every task that you want to complete but still faced difficulty to make yourself be most productive. Or, you tried hard to complete each task in your to-do list but still you dissatisfy with the results. Is that so? This article is for you. We’ll help you to make sure your productivity can be improved through this most effective way and be succeeded as successful people.

By the end of this article, you should be able to:
1. Appreciate the concept of to-do list
2. Identify the essence of to-do list
3. Incorporate effective way to boost the benefits of to-do list in your daily basis
4. Be most productive using to-do list
5. Be one of successful people

The Origin of To-do List

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of history of art and literature. “It’s a relics of primitive cultures – simplistic devices that don’t belong in our modern day. However, because of its irresistible advantages, that simple form of list prevails again over time to time.” – Umberto Eco. Lists help us to make sense of the world around us. At the first place, making lists is a great way to increase overall happiness and feel less overwhelmed.

There are two distinctive differences of the effect of to-do list. The first group believes that to-do list is an evil monster that regenerates every time you slay it. On contrary, the second group believes that to-do list is friendly buddy to encourage them to make steps and to clear goal to success. That’s the perspective of what successful people have.

Well, every group has their own reasons. For those who see to-do list as an evil immortal monster, they have that presumption because they can’t use to-do list as it supposes to. Meanwhile, those who consider to-do list as a friendly buddy who assist their life in daily basis are the ones that utilize to-do list as it supposes to. Therefore, there is an art of utilizing to-do list to make it delivers most results.

The Essence of To-do List

There are several reasons that powering why we should to-do list at the first place:

Managing Priorities

Making to-do list is considered as managing priorities. Therefore, you should focus and understand about the true importance of each task you list. As Benjamin Franklin said that by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. Meaning, the successfulness of preparation determines the success at the end.  In achieving the success you should understand the way to get it. That’s why managing your priorities through to-do list is the first reason of why we should to-do list.

Supporting Brain in Memorization

To-do list serves as external memory aid because we are vulnerable of forgetting attack. Every day, there is always one or more things that we forget. Honestly, this is so annoying, right? Therefore, making to-do list has greater positive impact in helping our brain especially in memorization. Without it, we are easily forgot something due to the nature of our short-term memories.

Radiating Motivation

To-do list helps you to clarify your goals by listing steps to take in achieving them. Every step you completed radiates motivational energy for you to complete the next one – because you’re getting closer to achieve your goals. Making to-do list helps to clarify thought and achieve short-term goals. More goals you accomplished, more motivation you’ll get to achieve more goals. Once, you feel great about completing a goal, you’ll do the next to feel it again and again.

Enhancing Productivity

The way to get success is simple, focus. Yes, it is hard to believe these days where many people believe that multitasking is better in finishing more tasks at the same time. Also yes, people think that multitasking is doable. For example, watching YouTube while reading comments or replying email while answering the phone.

However, the reality is the opposite. The undoable part is concentrating on the tasks you do at the same time. Some researches figured out that the brain can’t fully focus when multitasking, because of that the brain requires more time to complete the task and sometimes encounters error. Therefore, multitasking person performs each task less suitably and loses more time. To-do list helps our brain to be effective on completing tasks that we need to handle every day.

Effective Ways to Boost the Benefits of To-do List

If your plan here is to be more productive and effective as possible. We suggest you to avoid multitasking and start practicing this effective way to make your to-do list be more effective in order to boost your productivity and efficiency.

Strengthen Priority Management

Managing your priorities gives you clear goal to accomplish. The idea helps your mind to do the most important task for that day. Practice five approaches bellow to strengthen your priority management in order to achieve most effective to-do list:

Make it simple and works

The nature of people who strike to succeed has tendency to make the process complicated. For examples, over thinking, over analysis, and keeping responsibilities beyond their capability. Another common misinterpretation about productivity is thinking having many workloads and working long hours considered as productive and fulfilled life. However, being productive neither having over thinking, over analysis, and troubling yourself. Make it simple and make sure it works. You’ll know the difference between working hard and working smart.

First step to make in order to boost your productivity as working smart is that every night before you sleep, list six most important tasks that you need to complete when tomorrow morning starts. The key is to write no more than six tasks. This practice helps you to conceive what you’ll do is simple and achievable, so your mind will be less overwhelm.

It doesn’t mean that you limit yourself. This simple practice gives you clarity or direction of obtainable goals. It helps you to have clear description about what needs to be done, its importance, and the way to accomplish them.

This simple practice also enhances your focus by creating more results and with effective effort and time. Keeping the list simple, meaning to put sufficient attention on the most important task at the most effective perspective and time management.

Focus on the most important

Understand the importance of each task from that list. Arrange them based on their true importance. Make sure the first task you’ll do in the morning is the most important task that you need to complete that day. You have many things to do but not all of them accomplishable in a day. Thus focus on the most important is most important. Eliminate less important tasks and focus on the tasks that you need to complete that day. Since you only need to list no more than six most important tasks for that day, be critical in sorting all the tasks running around in your mind.

Take single task seriously

When you’re in the state of doing a task, focus on it and only on it. Remember the myth of multitasking, each task which you complete with maximum effort grants you satisfied result. By taking single task seriously, you’re helping yourself. Once you aware of each task’s importance, you can decide the appropriate time to complete each of them.

Remove friction between tasks

In the morning, focus on the first task on the list. Finish the first task completely before you move on to the second task. This practice builds strong foundation of dedication in your daily life. Dedication teaches discipline, passion, and time management. By allocating all of your effort, energy, and time to do one task at time, you’ll be faster and gain higher quality result. This practice helps you to spend less time and to encounter less error in doing task. Also, it helps you to avoid multitasking that promotes damages to your productivity.

Build the habit

Keep practicing this steps till your mind automatically do it without any pressure on it. This is a good habit for maximizing your productivity using to-do list.


In conclusion, strengthen your priority management is one most effective way to boost the effectiveness of your to-do list. Keep in mind that focus helps you achieve success for every goal you’re into. Your to-do list is a tool for you to keep yourself from distractions and to stop procrastionation. Also, avoid multitasking in completing tasks – saving your precious time and protecting you from unnecessary errors.

Well, we appreciate your effort on reading this article about how successful people use to-do list. You have willingness to be better and that is great. We hope this article helps you in boosting your to-do list efficiency and productivity. So, do you have other more effective tool to increase productivity?

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Ajuzar Fiqhi
Ajuzar Fiqhi

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