Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 5 Minute To-Do List for Morning Productivity

Ok so the 5 minute to-do list is intended to be an easy, fast jotting list that you make first thing in the morning. I've recently started to write these within a few minutes of waking up when thoughts, ideas and memories are fresh in the mind and I can clearly see all my to-do's. There are hundreds and thousands of morning productivity plans out there but this one is all about keeping it simple.

For a while now I've found that I kind of needed to know everything or most things I need to do in a day, before the day was in full swing. I didn't want to play catch up all day forgetting one thing or the other. I guess the more things we have to do, the more likely we'll forget one or two items. I thought there must be an easier way to arrange and organize these tasks. So the 5 minute list was born, up to you whether you keep the list with you through the day, I just use it to get my mind in gear primarily. The day also brings new tasks but my mind's working better now adding the odd task here and there, as opposed to arranging 30 different items on the run. It really was madness before.

I also found the harder I thought of all the things I need to do, the more difficult the list becomes due to all the extra detail I ended up adding, hence the 5 minutes. You should easily be able to recall the important things within a period of 5 minutes regardless of how small or large the task. It's done wonders for my organization skills mainly due to the clarity it gives me before I even walk out the door. Just try it out for a few days see what it does for you. Here are a few pointers in getting started.

1. 5 minutes, means 5 minutes - Keep it short, keep it simple.

2. Don't dwindle on the subjects, titles and headings - Just get it all down in whichever order it comes to you. The point is to just make a list which can re-arranged later.

3. As soon as you wake up - Try keeping a pad and pen next to your bed so when you get started on you list when the mind is fresh.

4. Not the most important piece of paper of the day - The list is just a starting point for arranging the day. No need to carry it around all day, it's more for your morning mind than it is your pocket.

5. Finally, keep it fun - I know not everything we have to do in a day will always be fun, but get quirky with the list and you'll see the positive effects spill over through the day. I'm pretty sure this also helps remembering, the odd doodle or nickname also helps it stick in the memory a little more.

So happy jotting, I really do hope this helps you as much as it's helped me. I'm always looking for ways to improve on these ideas so If you've also developed your own unique way of arranging the day before it starts, please let me know.