Business Wellbeing

How to use lists in the most productive way for better organisation

Long-time followers of the Boatman Admin Services blog know we love a list and working our way through it.  There is a saying at Boatman HQ – if it’s not on the list, it’s not getting done!  We wanted to share with you how we use lists to stay super organised.

Whilst having a list is great, if you wrote absolutely everything you needed to do, you’d probably be hugely overwhelmed by the sheer size of it.  The key is to break it down.

A to-do list will boost your motivation, especially when crossing out each completed task!

Break it down…

I end my week on a Friday by writing down what I need to focus on the following week.  Each day I then highlight three things that absolutely must be done by the end of the day.  Anything extra that gets done on top of this is a bonus!

Of course, you don’t know what’s going to crop up each day so always leave some white space in your calendar to allow for flexibility.

& then break it down even further…

We like to start the day by doing one or two smaller tasks that are easy to achieve.  That way, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment fairly easily!  After that, move on to a slightly bigger task or eat the frog and tackle that task that’s a little heftier and will take more time and focus.  This is where breaking your to-do list down even further will help you.

For example, you might have ‘write a blog’ but we know there is more to it than just drafting a few words.  Your list might look like this:

  • Initial research to be done,
  • Images to be sourced
  • Canva posts created
  • SEO
  • Running the finished post through something like Grammarly

Use your list to add all of these subsections and then it won’t seem like such a daunting task.

Make it your own

Create your list in whatever format feels right for you – you might have a project management tool that is your bible such as Asana or Trello.  You can create recurring tasks so that you’re not constantly adding the same tasks.

You might feel that a good old notebook and pen is more your style – there is no right or wrong way to manage your to do list!

Whatever happens, don’t forget to actually check in with your to do list each day.

I love Franky’s approach to a ‘ta-da’ list for days when you feel like you haven’t achieved anything.  You can learn more about in in her podcast, Friends with Business Benefits.

As mentioned in our earlier blog post 5 tips for being successfully organised in business, we find it easier to have separate lists for each area of life such as business, life admin, food shopping etc.