24 June 2016
A Productivity List Alone Isn’t Enough to be Truly Productive
Finding new and better ways of being truly productive is one of the great challenges these days. So, could a productivity list be just what you need?
The truth is that there are many different types of productivity list out there, with varying degrees of benefit in each case. However, it seems clear that there is often a better alternative that you can turn to when you need to really work to the highest possible level.
A Simple To-Do List
The power of a simple to-do list is something that people have been harnessing for a long time now. In its simplest form, this is just a piece of paper with some notes scribbled on it.
A more modern and comprehensive approach is to use a mobile application or PC software to create a digital to-do list. The essence remains the same but this is undoubtedly a smarter and more flexible way of working.
The biggest problem with this kind of productivity list is that it ignores many of the complexities that could arise in a working day. It should work fine for household chores but if you are running a big project or starting a business then you will want to have an approach that lets you take into account inter-dependencies, people’s availability and other complex matters.
A Template List
A template list is the kind of thing that can save you time when you carry out the same tasks over and over again. For instance, if your work involves setting up new accounts or processing invoices then you can probably take a lot of the thinking out of the job in this way.
The big issue with this sort of list is that it doesn’t really suit jobs that evolve or that involve a wide variety of possible outcomes. In the example of a project manager, you may use a template list for certain tasks but there are many other parts of the job that just can’t be organised and listed in this format.
In the worst case scenario, limiting yourself to a template list driven way of working could seriously inhibit your creativity. In other cases, it may be that you lose your edge over time through making your role too repetitive.
A List of Delegated Tasks
Trying to handle everything on your own is definitely a recipe for disaster. If you are going to work to the highest possible standard then you will want to delegate tasks to other people in your team or else outsource them externally.
This is all well and good, but how on Earth do you keep a track of everything when you do this? One type of productivity list you might consider is one that features a list of the delegated tasks on it.
On the face of it, this is an efficient way of keeping all of the relevant information in one place. On the other hand, isn’t there a chance that this list could soon grow out of your control?
Keeping track of deadlines, budgets and other related issues can be hard work if you are relying on a list of delegated work to do it all. In all but the most basic projects you will probably quickly realise that you need a more comprehensive and flexible way of keeping track of these tasks.
A List of Pros and Cons
Analysing all of the information in order to make big decisions can be one of the most time-consuming parts of any role. At times it might seem virtually impossible to come to a sensible and informed decision on a particularly difficult matter.
The idea behind using a list of this type is that you weigh up the pros on one side against the cons on the other side. This should, in theory, make it easier for you to reach fast decisions and be more productive a result.
There is definitely something to be said about this approach in order to make difficult decisions easier, although you shouldn’t think that this is some sort of magical solution. There is still a lot of thought to be put into making decisions like this.
For instance, a list that has 10 pros and just 1 one con on it doesn’t automatically mean that the answer has to be a yes. This is a starting point for reaching a decision but you still need to have the experience and knowledge to assess the strengths of each point on your list.
A List of the Week’s Top Priorities
It is human nature to want to look ahead and see what the week has in store for you. Of course, it is also important to understand that there are no nasty last-minute surprises waiting for you later on in the week.
A weekly priority list is something that can be used to work out what the week ahead is all about and to stop important tasks falling through the cracks. Planning ahead like this is obviously a good idea but is a list the best way of doing it?
The potential problem in this case is that you still run the risk of forgetting some things when you write the list at the start of the week. There is also the fact that spending a lot of time creating this list could outweigh the productivity gains that you make from using it.
What Is the Best Solution?
It is clear that productivity lists like the ones we have looked at can be useful but that they shouldn’t be all that you rely upon to run projects or to deal with other complex matters. In these situations you need a more comprehensive and flexible approach that lets you plan ahead with confidence.
This is why it makes perfect sense to use Kanbanchi to improve your productivity instead. This tool makes it easy to organise your projects and avoid the risk of forgetting something or making a mistake along the way.
An easy to use interface with a drag and drop method of moving the items makes it an incredibly fast and intuitive tool to use. Before long you will realise that there is simply no longer any need for all of those lists anymore.