The ultimate to-do: Increase your productivity by

changing the words that you use 

Have you ever looked at an item on a to-do list and wondered – just what does that mean? It made perfectly good sense when I wrote it out – and now, for the life of me, I just have no idea what I was thinking. Then you just shrug your shoulders and go on.

There’s a better way to create to-do’s and by changing the words that you use, you’ll become more productive.

What’s the power using of a to-do list? Some say that it’s a list of things that need to be done. Yet, in its most basic form, a to-do list is a plan of action. By getting the plan and the list out of your head, and onto paper, you can shift from strategic planning mode into tactical operational mode and just get stuff done.

It becomes easy to execute the plan and create momentum. Take the first item on the list, and go for it. When you’re done, check it off. See your progress and keep going. There’s no brainpower required decide what to do next – you just move on down the list.

What’s the best tracking tool to use?

There’s an endless variety of online tools and software applications that you can use to create and manage your to-do lists. There’s also the age old classic pen and paper. And remember, if you’re not going to do the work – it won’t matter what tool you use.

Most people think that the tool is the secret sauce. But it isn’t. It’s actually the words that you use.

What makes the best wording for a to-do?

A to-do designates something to be done. Sure, that somewhat goes without saying – but sometimes we forget it, and just fall in love with having a list of things. It’s not the list that’s magic – but how things are written on the list.

Let’s compare three lists.

The first list is Verbs. This is the action that you want to take.

  • Create
  • Format
  • Design

The second list is nouns. This is the object that the action should be taken on.

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Report
  • Web Page

The third list is the combination of nouns and verbs.

  • Create PowerPoint presentation
  • Format report
  • Design web page

It’s pretty obvious how much clearer it is to understand what needs to be done.

Always use a noun and a verb.

The best to-dos are not one word. Be specific. Don’t be vague. You don’t want to have to think or interpret anything. Your goal is to be able to look at each item on the list, and take action.

Now, go and increase your productivity. Change your words.

Update your to-do-list.