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11 Practical Tips for Finishing Your To-Do List Faster

February 01, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By (Lindsay Kolowich)

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Chances are, you’ve heard this phrase before — and probably more than once. The philosophy behind working “smart” is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time. By working smarter, you’ll find yourself with more time in the day to sleep, exercise, be creative, and recharge.

(Oh, and it just so happens that those relaxing things also make you more productive when you get back to work again — and so the cycle continues.)

Most of us use to-do lists to keep track of what we need to do and how much we’ve gotten done. These lists are loose ways of measuring how productive we are: When we’ve successfully crossed everything off our list, we feel really really accomplished.

The key to getting through your to-do list faster is by working smarter — without sacrificing the quality of your work. How is that done? Here are 11 tips to help you get through that to-do list as efficiently as possible.

11 Tips for Getting Through Your To-Do List Faster

1) Choose the to-do list app or tool that works for you.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of good ol’ pen-and-paper to-do lists. But unless you want to carry a physical notebook around everywhere you go, it makes sense to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you’re at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.

There are a lot of to-do list apps and tools out there, though … so which ones are the best of the best?

Actually, the best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences. Here’s a list of 10 of the best to-do list tools and apps. It includes descriptions of how they work and which features they include so you can choose the one(s) that fit closest with your style.

2) Write out your to-do list the day before.

When you plan out what you’re going to do the day before, a few good things happen.

For one, you’ll be able to dive right into your to-do list in the morning, freeing you up to get more done during one of the most productive times of day.

Secondly, planning out your day in advance can help you spot obstacles ahead of time, which can help you reduce the total time you spend working on a project.

Finally, knowing what you have going on well in advance could help you relax and sleep better the night before — and a good night’s sleep is important not only for productivity but also for health and happiness.

Before you head home from work each day, spend a few minutes looking over your calendar for the next day and writing a to-do list — …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog