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This Small Change to How You Write Task Lists will Increase Your Productivity

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

Maybe I’m talking to myself in a world of knowledgeable, skilled goal-setters or maybe you have the same issue I do. Either way, I hope you glean something from this itty-bitty rambling article.

I was looking over my BuJo spread for the day when I realized a fatal flaw in my plans of productivity and success. Nine (Yes, an entire nine!) tasks began with, “Work on…”. Work on business. Work on poetry collection. Work on setting up gigs. Work on school work. Work on…

The problem with this is the utter and complete lack of direction and specifics involved in a task that only has one parameter: are to work on it.

Obviously, I’m going to work on it. But what am I going to do with it? When am I going to be done with it? What actually satisfies these tasks so that I can feel complete and move on to the next?

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I threw together a little mental checklist for tomorrow’s spread, and for all those following, in order to keep myself out of the tricky land of the undefined. This could be of help to you as well with any or all of your goal-setting endeavors.

  • What area of my life does this task fall under?
  • What is this task exactly?
  • What is the end goal in qualitative form?
  • What is the end goal in quantitative form?
  • What is my deadline for this specific task?

Example of a task following these steps:

Create two mockups of cover designs for my upcoming stationary line by 11 pm tonight.

Unclear, useless task that will either be ignored or done improperly:

Work on the new planner.

It might seem like quite a bit to think through just for a simple task, however, asking yourself these questions as you are putting the task to paper takes only seconds and will result in you actually following through with your task in the way you originally intended. By analyzing your tasks for the day you are being sure to set yourself realistic and measurable goals.

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash

For someone who runs their day and keeps their life on track through task sheets and planners, it can be a tad bit overwhelming facing the dreaded mile-long to-do list that has no focused criteria. I know that there are plenty of other folks out there who are just as task-oriented who would benefit from focusing their tasks in order to amp up their productivity throughout the day.

By following these five questions I will be sure to only place goals in my Bullet Journal that are reasonably achievable and well-defined. The hopes are that this will help to cut back on to-do list guilt and actually increase my productivity in the long-haul.