One of the many challenges of running your own business is knowing how to prioritise and manage the deluge of tasks that just keep coming. Of all the organisational tricks that you’ll read about online, nothing beats the trusty daily to-do list.
In this article, company formation agent Rapid Formations ticks off the business benefits to be had from jotting down your daily jobs, getting to work, and then marking them as done. Let’s get started.
Provides structure to your day
If you note down the tasks that you want to tackle, and in which order, at the end of each day – when you next get to work, you’ll immediately be presented with a map for how your day should pan out. No wasted time wondering what to do next, and no need for having to remind yourself of what needs to get done. A clear roadmap for your day.
As you’ll know, priorities will change as new jobs (and dare we say it, problems) come in – so your to-do list will need to be flexible, but just having a plan for your day will be effective in saving time and improving efficiency.
As a business owner, you are going to get pulled in all directions, this is unavoidable, but what you can do is provide yourself with a foundation on which to work – something you can revisit and tailor as the days, weeks, and months progress. A good to-do list will provide you with this.
A handy reminder
Distractions are everywhere for business owners. With emails filling up your inbox, letters dropping through the door, the live chat tool pinging, the phone ringing, and employees popping in for discussions, it’s easy to lose track of what you are doing.
This can result in wasted time flitting between jobs, doing them in a so-so fashion, then trying to remember what you were initially doing, only to realise you’ve forgotten.
By documenting tasks on a to-do list as soon as they come in, there’s no requirement to abandon what you’re doing and take on the new job straight away. In accordance with how much of a priority the work is, you can fit it into your current day’s schedule, get it done later or delegate it to an employee. Sure, it’s an obvious benefit to the to-do list, but one of its key strengths, nonetheless.
As you learn how long specific jobs take and grow accustomed to your own working habits as a business owner – perhaps you’re more suited for strategic tasks in the morning and customer-facing roles in the afternoon – you can use your to-do list to efficiently manage your time. Upscaling it from a simple list to something more akin to a calendar.
By adding extra detail to your to-do list, such as the time of day you want to work on a job, how long you expect it to take, and maybe even a deadline – you can focus on the right jobs at the right time and squeeze the absolute most out of your day in an organised fashion.
This will not only benefit your working life but also your home life, as you’ll have a clear understanding of how your time is going to be spent – and hopefully negate the need for you to constantly work out of hours as you play ‘catch up’.
Analyse what you work on
Rather than scribbling down your to-do list in an ineligible scrawl and chucking it away when all the tasks have been ticked off, construct your lists clearly and date them. This way, when you get the chance, you can revisit them and analyse how your schedule is broken down.
Were too many minutes dedicated to a task that turned out to be a waste? Was too little time spent on a job that was poorly delivered? The more comprehensive your to-do lists are, the more findings that can be gleaned from them.
For example, you may notice that a large portion of each week is dedicated to accountancy admin – in which case you could consider hiring an accountant. Likewise, you might find that every month you’re spending a significant amount of time writing marketing emails, providing you with a case to outsource this work.
If you’re feeling anxious about the sheer scale of the work that you need to do, the simple act of sitting down and recording your different tasks can be remarkably calming.
The to-do list changes your perspective. Rather than having a series of challenges that need to be swotted away all at the same time, the list boils each duty down to a succinct task and provides you with a cohesive order. Everything suddenly becomes more manageable.
When you have numerous plates to spin, as business owners do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and panic. A to-do list presents you with a clear goal and in turn, clear structure – things that will help alleviate any stress that you are feeling. It’s a demonstration that you are in control.
A sense of accomplishment
There’s no feeling like working your way through a to-do list and ticking off your jobs. Whether you’re doing it with a pen and paper, on an online document, or through a project management tool such as Trello or Slack – the sense of completion when a job has been done (and done well) is extremely satisfying.
When there’s so much work to be done, as there generally is for business owners, it’s common to look back at the end of the day and struggle to work out what’s actually been achieved. A completed to-do list provides you with the evidence.
So there you have it
Those are the 6 business benefits of drawing up a daily to-do list. As you can see, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Just by taking a few minutes each day to jot down the tasks that need to be done, you’ll improve efficiency, productivity, and maybe even your mental health! Thanks for reading.
If you’re not yet a business owner but have a great idea for a business, Rapid Formations can assist you in getting started. In just four simple steps, they can help you register your own UK limited company. All you need to do is pick your company name, choose from their range of company formation packages, make payment and then complete the quick and simple formation process. Companies are often formed on the same day that applications are sent in.