Who doesn’t love a to-do list? I feel instantly more productive just by corralling all my responsibilities for the day in one neat place. But, it turns out, the way I put together my to-do list — and probably the way you do too — may be all wrong.
The key to a superior list, one that will actually help you knock out all those tasks instead of remind you of what you haven’t accomplished, is organizing it by periods of time, not the tasks themselves, reports Fast Company.
Known as “time-blocking,” this method allows you to see the available time slots you have between all those meetings and calls and presentations. Then you can match your to-dos to the blocks that make the most sense.
For example, have just 30 minutes between two meetings? You won’t be able to draft a new proposal in that time but you can knock out a couple of quick-hit tasks like replying to email or catching up on office updates.
By focusing more on the “when,” not just the “what,” you can more easily see where you’ve overbooked, as well as take into account the times of day when you work best (or, conversely, when you hit that afternoon slump). Then, schedule your to-dos accordingly. Makes sense, right? Give it a try and see how your productivity changes!