Home » Self Improvement » Time Management

How to Use a To-Do List to Control Your Time

Aug 17, 2007
Good time management is simply managing the events and activities of your day. If you feel like your days are getting away from you, you are not alone. Advances in technology have brought more information rushing toward us than ever before. Ten years ago, we used telephones, fax machines, and letters to share information. Now we have emails, video phones, pod casts, and a continually evolving workplace. Managing our information has become the focus of the majority of our time.

A good time management system will help you organize your information and help you track the important events of your life. It will also work as a tracking system for what happened on a certain day, so you can easily refer back to it if needed.

A simple calendar works as a scheduler. You can record any future appointments and commitments. You can mark down significant dates so you will always remember birthdays and anniversaries. You can also record future deadlines so they are never missed. It is a good idea to record the deadline about three days before the actual date to give you a cushion.

Your daily to-do list is a catch all for all those tasks that you need to complete, but you haven't set an actual date for. When you look over your to-do list, you can assess the tasks in order of priority. When does the task need to be finished? How much time will it take to finish? How big of a priority is it? When do you plan to finish it?

When estimating the length of time to complete a task, you should allow yourself 50% more time than you think it will take to finish. This will keep your day on schedule, and you might even find you have some spare time throughout the day.

Another great use for your to-do list is as a catch all for all the pieces of information that accumulates on small pieces of paper in your pockets. How often do you empty your pockets at the end of the day to find ten or fifteen scraps of paper with phone numbers, names and dates on them? You can use your daily to-do list to record all this information at the time, and then move it to the appropriate place from there.

Here are six advantages to using a daily to-do list:
1. A to-do list helps you keep track of what needs to be done.
2. A to-do list is more dependable than your memory is.
3. You can prioritize items on the list.
4. You can easily see overlapping activities. This will save you time by grouping activities that occur in the same place, or use the same resources.
5. You will get a great feeling of accomplishment when you cross something off your list.
6. You can carry over any uncompleted tasks to the next day, without risk of forgetting them.

Using a to-do list will help you focus on what you can realistically expect to accomplish in a day. It will help you spend your valuable time on what is really important, and help you reach your goals much faster.
About the Author
Gerri Stone publishes articles and free time management tips at Tips For Time Management
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 191
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources