So simple but probably the single most effective productivity tip I’ve ever heard.
To Do List apps – I’ve tried them all.
They even become a regular pub discussion point with one of my business partners – “have you tried x, I’m loving y, I’ve just stopped using z”.
But every time – and I mean every time, these apps eventually end up dormant on my phone, as I wait for the next new one to appear in the App Store’s Productivity Charts.
May be it’s just boredom, but To Do List apps don’t work for me long term.
However, we’re not talking apps today, I’ve found a much better solution – the one I’ve actually stuck with that has made me more productive than any gamified piece of software or guru help book.
We all have our own systems for attempting to have a productive day – there’s an entire multi-million pound industry built around it. Time-blocking, planning the night before, eating the frog, ignoring emails and the aforementioned apps.
The one that has worked for me better than any other?
The Power List.
It’s so unbelievably simple, it seems a bit weird writing a post about it but I wanted to share it with as many people as possible as I am yet to find a more effective way of planning out my day and getting sh*t done. Every day.
I’m not sure who conceived the original art of writing a to do list but The Power List came to me from CEO, entrepreneur and business mentor; Andy Frisella. I wasn’t a fan of the guy on the first episode of his podcast, but he genuinely talks a lot of business sense and is a hell of a motivator.
I found myself tuning in every week and fast came to realise, this guy knows a thing or too about getting stuff done (and not making excuses for failing to).
One episode of his original MFCEO podcast (he’s since started the new Real AF podcast) was dedicated to this specific productivity tip, used by the man himself.
The Power List is a simple 5 bullet points of things to complete each day – important items that will move your business (or health or life) forward.
Use paper and pen (don’t bother with your phone).
List the items 1 to 5.
Stick today’s date at the top.
And that’s it.
I know, but stick with me.
The plan is to complete and cross off all 5 tasks by the end of the day.
At the end of the day, see how many you’ve completed.
Got all 5? You’ve won the day. Mark it with a W at the bottom.
Missed a couple of items? Mark it with an L.
The tomorrow go again.
The next day, go again.
And so on.
You’ll soon like seeing all those W’s rack up.
That’s what got me hooked on what seems such a simple productivity tool.
The keys for it to work are 1) it must be handwritten 2) do it first thing 3) cross items off as they’re completed and 4) score it at the end of the day
And do not put more than five items on the list. Trust me, I tried. It just doesn’t work and is unrealistic.
If you do get the opportunity to complete more than five important tasks in the day, that’s great, but it doesn’t go on The Power List.
At the end of the month, assuming you do this Mon-Sun every day, but the end of the month you’ll have pages of completed tasks and potentially 30 ‘Wins’ in your book.
That’s a powerful motivator to not stop and go again tomorrow.