5 awesome benefits of a ‘to-do-list’

“Carelessness Kills, Complacency is Murder!” (Proverbs 1:32) MSG

A Super new year to you!

One of my goals this year (like all other years) is to be super-productive and achieve most of my set goals.  As such I woke up with an urge yesterday to share this here. This is useful to everyone – Students, Parents, Single Mums, Entrepreneurs – everyone.

I have had several people ask me how I juggle so many balls without letting any drop even when I hardly delegate and the secret has been – Having a plan or a to-do-list. Sounds very basic and probably old-school for some. Some people believe they can always ‘wing’ it and it works for them but trust me, you can achieve much more by carefully planning your day/week/month. Remember your new year resolutions or goals can only happen if you take deliberate actions everyday.

Below are 5 awesome benefits of having a to-do-list this year…

Creates Order

Life can be lived more intentionally and deliberately. A good morning routine requires you wake up and plan the day before setting out. You can also draw up your plan before going to bed at night. Take time to be quiet and think through the day. It’s understandable that on some days, you may just roll out of bed which happens to me too, but you’d be amazed at what 5 minutes of quiet would do. This might mean waking up 30 minutes earlier than you did last year. A quick morning routine for me is – Reading one chapter of Proverbs, a moment of quiet (I call it my PPP MOMENT – time to Pray, Plan and Prepare) and drinking a bottle of water.

Alexis Carrel says, “The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained”

Photo Credit: gotorderly.com

Maximise ‘Free’ time

While waiting at the bank, riding on a bus or taxi or waiting to pick up my daughter after her dance classes, I work on something already highlighted in my to-do-list which could be to reply some emails or friends chat, plan a birthday party,  draft my shopping list or a new module for my Kidpreneur Klub session. The urge to laze or indulge in pleasure (particularly social media) is reduced when you know you have things to tick off on your to-do-list.

Little wonder Michael Altshuler said “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”

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Boost your self-esteem

I love striking out items on my list. I also realised I smile when I look at all the items I’ve crossed out. When you strike out items accomplished on your list, research explains that there are chemicals released in the brain called ‘dopamine’. When this is released and flows into the brain’s reward pathway (the part responsible for pleasure, learning and motivation), it causes us to have not only a feeling of accomplishment but also an inspiration to re-experience the activity that caused the chemical released in the first place.

Declutter your brain and reduce mental energy

Instead of mulling about the tasks that needs to be done in your mind, offload your thoughts onto your notepad or gadgets. There are various apps that can also be used for this. You could also take notes on your phone. Capture those thoughts that keep flying in your head quickly before they develop wings and fly.

No doubt, the bluntest pencil still remembers better than the sharpest memory.


Better Time Management

According to studies, only 10% of people feel ‘in control’ of how they spend their time each day. Having a to-do-list is most certainly one of the best ways to manage your time. I teach kids entrepreneurship and life skills development in primary schools. I often tell them they need to divide their time in 3 major parts – For School work/house chores – which includes washing their socks, tidying their rooms, walking the dog or doing their homework, for Play or fun activities and for their pet project or business. They have come to know that Time Management is a trait of entrepreneurs and I believe it would become a life-long habit for winning and super-productivity for them.

And there goes my 5 benefits of having a to-do-list.

However, I’m a traditional ‘pen’ and ‘paper’ person and daily/weekly to-do lists are now a habitual part of my life. What about you? Do you make daily to-do lists? Do you prefer an App or are you like me who still use pen and paper? Please let me know in the comments section below…

Remember, don’t be careless, don’t be complacent, achieve more and have a super productive year!

Yours in inspiring educational excellence…

Yejide Akiode


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