9 Reasons Lists Will Increase Your Small Business Productivity

10 Reasons Lists Will Increase Your Small Business Productivity

I’m a HUGE fan of using lists…

Whether you choose your iPad, a software package like Toodledo or simple pen and paper, lists can change your productivity from OK to outstanding.

Here are 10 reasons why…

1. Create headspace:

Lists get the tasks you need to do out of your head and onto paper (or some other fixed form).
Then, instead of wasting energy trying to remember everything, you create valuable thinking space to allow new thoughts and ideas to enter.
When you think that a single idea could transform the success of your business, thinking space is crucial.

2. Prioritise your work:

If you run your own business it’s very easy to get busyness and productivity confused.
Without lists you could find your day being spent tackling the less significant tasks while the jobs that have the greatest potential to benefit your business get left.
If all your tasks are listed, it’s far easier to separate the “nice to dos’ from the really valuable work.

3. Organise your work:

Whilst you don’t want to get lost in list overwhelm you do want to create different lists for different purposes. For example:

  • a. Write a list of your business goals and keep it handy to refer back to.
  • b. Each month create a high level list of what you plan to accomplish.
  • c. Then break that down into a list of weekly targets.
  • d. Finally turn those weekly objectives into your day list.
  • e. Schedule focussed time each day ensure your list is completed.

Different styles work for different people so have a play and figure out what works best for you…

4. Motivate:

Getting started on your business goals and tasks is the hardest part because you have to overcome inertia.
But just like a static car, once you start moving, the momentum makes working a lot easier.
Using lists, your day gets that invaluable kick-start to ignite your productivity while laser guiding your focus on the right tasks.

5. Avoid procrastination:

Lack of clarity and “fuzzy head syndrome” are two of the most common causes of procrastination.
Lists work really well at clearing away the clutter and getting you started.
Instead of staring at a challenging or scary piece of work, use a list to break it down into bite-sized chunks.
Then eat away at it bit by bit and before you know it, that big job will be done and dusted.

6. Feel good:

Ticking and crossing finished jobs off your to do list feels really good, fact.
The reason is your body releases endorphins and you get a natural high.
As such your simple list will create energy as you work. But be careful.
It’s a feeling you can get hooked on and before you know it you’ll be achieving far more than you did before.

7. Boost confidence:

By using lists to organise and prioritise your work you’ll discover you will naturally get more of the important stuff done.
This can have a huge impact on your self-esteem and confidence.
You could even find yourself tackling and finishing those 'more challenging tasks' you had been avoiding.

8. Instil self-discipline:

If you’ve said you’re going to do something on a particular day and it’s planned into your schedule through your lists, you’re much more likely to sit tight and get it done.
Because you’ve listed the work you need to complete, you’re less likely to get distracted, disrupt your schedule with the “easy stuff” or flitter away your time on a less valuable tasks.

9. Boost productivity:

As you can see lists not only make you do more stuff, they make you do more of the right stuff.
And as a result they focus you to start and finish more of the valuable tasks that have the potential to transform the success of your business.

Over to you…

How to do you use lists in your business? What impact has doing the right work had on your success?
Please tell me in the comments below.

UPDATE: If you want to use the same technique as 'richest man in the world' Charles Schwab, here is his time management story.

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