Much has been written and debated about whether or not you need to have a to-do list. According to my informal research, some people are able to remember everything in their heads and others have many, many lists and notes all over the place. Only 12% of respondents say they maintain one centralized list of all of their tasks.
As a life-long maker and maintainer of a to-do list, I can attest to the value of establishing and maintaining one central list of all of your tasks. It can be paper, digital or you can use my new app, priorigami: the art of productivity. Here are the magical benefits of having a single to-do list.
FREE YOUR MIND
Any given day there are a million random thoughts running through your head. By writing all of your tasks down, you can relieve your mind from having to remember everything and free it to do the important work. While our brains are really good at solving problems or being creative, they are not good storage solutions.
CREATE A HOME FOR YOUR TASKS
If you have one list, you have a single home for all your tasks. You don’t need to keep a variety of lists, reminders or Post-it notes but instead you will have created a place to house everything you need to do. You no longer need to keep reminding yourself to remember to get something done. The list will do it for you.
PICK YOUR PRIORITIES
If everything you need to do is in one place, it makes it a lot easier to prioritize and select tasks to focus on. When you have a free moment, review your list and you’ll be instantly reminded of what needs attention and which tasks should to rise to the top. You won’t need to remember to look in several different places just to find out what’s most important.
The real magic of having a to-do list is the pleasure that comes with checking things off the list when they are complete. I have been known to add items to my list that are already done just to be able to check them off. It’s a proven fact, that checking items of a list results in a dopamine rush which makes us feel good and in turn, motivates us to do more.