Creating a Master Task List to Boost Your Productivity

February 25, 2020

Consistency breeds success. It's no secret, but for whatever reason, being consistent is damn hard. We live in a culture of distraction, and there is always going to be something competing for our attention, trying to take us away from the things we need to be focusing on.

A little more than a year-and-a-half ago, I found myself in a season that seemed to be defined by distraction. My wife had just given birth to our 2nd child Elias, we'd recently moved into a new house, and we'd just wrapped up the construction of a new music production center at our music school. During this time, I also starting experiencing some troubling physical symptoms that made it hard for me to perform at my optimal level. Needless to say, it was a crazy time of life. There would be days where I would come into my office, feeling so sick and dizzy that I'd be unable to even think about what needed to get done.

I've always been a list guy, so I decided to make a master task list for each day of the week so that when I came into the office each day, I could open up my iPad (i keep my list on my iPad and check things off with my apple pencil) and start checking things off. Completing this, as hard as it was, instantly took so much pressure off of me! I knew exactly what I needed to do and on what day I needed to do it.

How do you make a master task list? There are many different ways you can approach this, but here is what works best for me:

1. Write all the things you consistently do each week on to a piece of paper.

I like to call this a "brain dump." When you do this, don't try and write things down in any particular order. Set 10 minutes aside (if you still writing stuff down after 10 minutes, go longer) and get everything in your head on to paper. It feels so good!

2. Start assigning items to days of the week.

You know how your week flows. Assign your tasks to the days that make the most sense. Assign more "to do's" to days where you don't have as many appointments and meetings and not as many to the days you do.

3. Put everything into a document with checkboxes.

After this, you are done! At the beginning of each week, pull up your list and get to work.

It really is this simple. One thing to remember, though, is that your list will continuously be evolving. I like to call my master task list a "living document." Even now, a year-and-a-half in, I am continually tweaking and shifting things to optimize my weekly flow. If you'd like to see what my list looks like, click here.

Creating this list has been one of the most powerful things I have implemented into my daily routine and at my business. I do not think it is a coincidence that after consistently doing this every day for 18 months, January 2020 was the best month our company has ever had! I hope this tool is as powerful for you as it has been for me.

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