Why You Need to Write The To Do List Like Benjamin Franklin to Light up Your Day

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The To Do List for Your Business

Does the thought of the to-do list overwhelm you?

Are most of your days almost over when you realize you have not completed what you “thought” you would? You had all kinds of ideas in the morning when you woke up of what you were going to do.

Then, you turned on the computer, looked at a few emails, clicked a few things and before you knew it, it was noon time or later?

We could all learn from Benjamin Franklin, who has been called The Godfather of the To-Do List! Benjamin also set himself a strict daily routine, which included time for sleeping, meals and working, all set for specific times of the day.

reading emails to start your day
Reading emails can take you away and off your tasks.
Then, you turned on the computer, looked at a few emails, clicked a few things and before you knew it, it was noon time? Click To Tweet

Write Down Your To Do List the Night Before

End your days by writing a to-do list for the next day. When I worked in an office, every day at 4:30 I would start to write down my to-do list for the next day. This was very helpful when I walked in the next day. It also allowed me to go home and not think about work. (Most of the time!)

Of course, now that I have been running my own business from home, I had gotten away from those daily to-do lists as I found myself working round the clock. But recently, I have found I needed them to accomplish more in less time. Yes, that is correct, the to-list allows me to DO MORE in LESS TIME! Isn’t that what we all want to do?

Yes, that is correct, the to-list allows me to DO MORE in LESS TIME! #productivity Click To Tweet

Add Your Breaks in Your To-Do List

Now, this is not what I did working for someone else as I knew to walk away for 10-15 minutes. Either to grab a bite to eat, use the bathroom or go for a short walk.

But as I manage my own business and time, I rarely took breaks until I started this list of things to do each day.

Not only did I find myself having a little extra time to have lunch and go for a walk but I found that I was actually getting MORE done. Yes, taking a break also can boost your creativity and help you avoid burnout.

Start with the Hard or Easy Things First

Now, depending if you are a morning person or not, start with the easy or harder things in the morning. I’m a morning person if you didn’t know. So I start with the harder things most mornings.

Then, I go on to the easier tasks as the day nears an end. Most days I try to end by a certain time so I have time to make a nice dinner instead of rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off!

Now, depending if you are a morning person or not, start with the easy or harder things in the morning. #smallbusinesstip Click To Tweet

Leave Time in Blocks on Your List

Be sure to leave enough time for yourself to get things off your list done. You don’t want to stress yourself out. If you get everything done early, start the list for the following day. Stay ahead and you will feel better each day.

Oftentimes, your list may contain things that take longer than you anticipate. Either stop and add it to the next days list or add other items to your following day’s to do list.

The more you can check off your list the better you will feel. You will feel like you’ve accomplished a lot and most likely you did!

The more you can check off your list the better you will feel. #smallbiztipster Click To Tweet

Don’t Forget to Add Free Time in Your Day

Many successful people realize that they need free time. The old saying, work hard, play hard is oftentimes true. So, do schedule your free time with fun activities whether it is reading, knitting, working out, etc.

Everyone’s definition of fun may differ so pick what it is you ENJOY doing. Free time should be activities not related to work.

Benefits of a Daily To-Do List

Psychologist and author David Cohen puts our love of to-do lists down to three reasons: they dampen anxiety about the chaos of life; they give us a structure, a plan that we can stick to; and they are proof of what we have achieved that day, week or month.

So if you are feeling anxious write down the things you need to do and want to do. Start to check them off and see if they help you feel less anxiety.

Most people need structure to get things done and be successful in life. Otherwise they wander around endlessly wondering what to do or when to do something or worse, never make a decision. Having a to-do list makes YOU decide. It puts you in charge of your day and your time.

Having a to-do list makes YOU decide. It puts you in charge of your day and your time. #productivity Click To Tweet

How Did Ben Franklin Do So Much?

Aside from being one of our forefathers in the United States, he also he invented the lightning rod, made significant discoveries in physics and population studies, wrote best-selling books, composed music and played the violin, harp and guitar at a high level, founded many civic organizations.

He started a newspaper at the age of 23 and was a postmaster for many years to name a few more things Ben Franklin accomplished in his lifetime. He also had children.

ben franklin quote about time

Benjamin Franklin swore by lists, not just a to do list but lists to live by. He also went to bed and arose at the same time every day – he lived a structured life.

I’d love to know if you use to-do lists in your business or life and if your days are mostly structured. Please leave a comment below!

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Lisa
 

Lisa Sicard has been running Inspire To Thrive for over 9 years. She helps companies manage their social media as well as providing training and consultations. She has over 25 years in digital marketing experience.

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