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Forget to-do lists: Use these 6 techniques to make your team more productive



To-do lists are the foundation of our never-ending quest for greater productivity and efficiency.


There are only quite a few disadvantages. Do you recognize the feeling of being productive when you've been working on your to-do list, instead of actually working? So that. Research shows that the most successful business people don't use to-do lists. What do they do?

The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is switching between day-to-day operations and strategic business planning. Listing everything you need to do can be overwhelming.

People as we are, we embark on simpler tasks more quickly than those large, bulky projects that often form the core of our business. Former US President Eisenhower once said: “What's important is rarely urgent. And what is urgent is rarely important.”

Are you an entrepreneur struggling to switch between daily tasks and the bigger picture of your business? Or do you see that happening with your employees? Then consider the tips below to replace that daunting to-do list for you and your team.


1. Live in your calendar

When completely letting go of your to-do list gives you the creeps, you can start using your agenda more effectively. The idea is simple. You plan all the tasks that you have to do in a day, and you make an estimate of the time that the task will take. Be careful not to estimate the time effort too rosy (very human, many studies show).

This way you gain insight into your day and it is easier to focus. It also prevents you from completing too many tasks in one day. A visual overview helps you set priorities and makes it easier to estimate whether you can say "yes" to new projects.


2. Start at the end


Think about what you want to achieve and then work back to the beginning. Do you want to generate a ton of turnover in the coming month? Then think about what you need to do this month to achieve that. When you start with your end goal in mind and work backward, you are more likely to achieve your goal. Good, visual planning - for example made with a program like Monday.com - can help you with this.


3. Make a strategic priority list


We still assume that - if you have been keeping a to-do list for years - you will find it unpleasant to get rid of the lists immediately. But instead of writing down all your tasks, you limit yourself to identifying the strategic priorities for your company. What is your biggest goal for the coming year? And what goals do you have for the coming quarters?

Write everything down and then review it critically. Which initiatives have the most impact on the growth of your company? When you have clear strategic top priorities, you create a timeline with no more than three top priorities per quarter. This is your common thread that you return to throughout the year.

4. Use good project management software


No one can ignore project management software these days when it comes to boosting collaboration and productivity. The right project management tool plays a major role in efficient collaboration within your company and thus increasing the productivity of your people.

5. Delegate responsibilities and take a step back


Make sure you not only place tasks, but also the responsibilities of projects with the right people in your company. Clearly agree on what a completed project looks like, to avoid unnecessary communication and disappointment. It is important to involve the team in the "why" of the project and explain how they contribute to the higher goal of your company.

And then… you take a step back so your employees can do it their way, without being a micro-managing director looking on their fingers. That in turn gives you the opportunity to focus on your strategic priorities to grow your business.

6. Do what you HAVE to do

When you start with the end goal in mind, you have to make choices every day. In practice, there are only one, perhaps two things that really need to be done every day. Everything else will pay off, but are not necessary for the success of your business.

When you understand this, see it and make time every day for the things that actually have to be done, it will yield productivity. Think of these daily action points as the meat on your plate. Everything around it is side dish.


6. Do what you HAVE to do


When you start with the end goal in mind, you have to make choices every day. In practice, there are only one, perhaps two things that really need to be done every day. Everything else will pay off, but are not necessary for the success of your business.

When you understand this, see it and make time every day for the things that actually have to be done, it will yield productivity. Think of these daily action points as the meat on your plate. Everything around it is side dish.

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