Last Updated On / Written By Daphne Blake

Weekly Planning- The Basics of Making Effective Lists

A Simple To-Do List that is Effective

When you manage a small business, you are faced with executing complex tasks every week. Sometimes you even wonder how to start when the task at hand is so overwhelming? Luckily, there is a solution. Many professionals still manage their work using humble to-do lists and simple checklists. All you need to start is to master the art of weekly planning.

Why Your Weekly To-Do Lists Fail?

There is a big chance that you tried to get into a habit of weekly planning already, but left your tasks half-finished. You are not alone. According to the research of the company iDoneThis, the 41% of all to-do list items usually stay untouched. As you can see, we all have dozens of unfinished projects.

Despite the popularity of to-do lists, the majority of entrepreneurs still don't know how to use their weekly to do checklist to boost efficiency and reduce mistakes at work. Here are four common problems you should consider before creating your first weekly to do list with Zip Checklist-

a. We have too many tasks. Most of us put way to much stuff on our lists.  Authors of "Willpower- Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength" wrote in their book that one person typically has at least 150 different tasks at a time and it will take more than a week to complete them all. So relax and use the 1-3-5 rule- each day try to accomplish 1 big goal, 3 medium, and 5 small. This rule is very helpful when you plan your week and don't want your to-do list make you even more anxious.
b. We don't break out our goals into actionable steps.
c. We give ourselves too much time.
d. Our work routine is full of unpredictable tasks, interruptions, and change.

The Basic Of Making Effective Weekly To-Do Lists-
a. Choose to go digital or paper – or even use both to boost your productivity
b. Create separate lists for yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily tasks
c. Use weekly checklist templates created by Zip Checklist to highlight and prioritize your tasks
d. Estimate and write down how long it will take to finish each task
e. Don't be vague
f. Start with the most important tasks first
g. Break complicated tasks into specific small actions
h. Don't delete your lists. Instead, turn them into "Done" lists and store them in your cloud library to see what you've achieved

Use a "Focus Funnel"

As outlined above, we all have too many tasks during the day. Using a "Focus funnel" will help you to find out which tasks you can out off and what should be done as soon as possible. Rory Varden, author of "Procrastinate on Purpose", says that it's all about identifying the right time for each task and recommends to use a "Focus Funnel", which is a series of four easy questions-

a. Can I eliminate it?
b. Can I automate it?
c. Can I delegate it?
d. OR Can it wait until later?

Focus On What Would Make This Week Great
Weekly to-do checklists are an effective way to get the thing done, but they can also have an effect on how you feel about your life. To feel good about what you are doing, try this- every day include three simple things that will make this day great. This could include going to the gym, baking your favorite cake, reading a book, etc. In other words, it could include anything that makes you happy. In this way, you give yourself a much higher chance of feeling accomplished by the end of each day. And by the end of the week, you will have a feeling that it was the most productive 7 days in your life.