Soft Skills

【Time management experiment】How the Power List helps maximise my productivity

The Power List concept

From bestselling author and public speaker Andy Frisella, the Power List concept is endorsed by many people because of how simple it is to start and see changes.  All you need is a notebook and a pen.  At the beginning of your day, think of 5 tasks you must complete by the end of that day.  It could be about work or anything you could think of.  The ultimate goal of these tasks is to guide you to becoming a better person.  You have to cross them off as you complete your tasks.  When you complete the day with all tasks crossed off, you write a big “W” on the page, which stands for “Win”.  If not, you put an “L” on the page, meaning you’ve lost that day.  The bigger your winning streak gets, the more confident you become.  

The tasks could be habits you want to develop, something that you need to get done by the end of the day.  The Power List's good thing is, it applies on Saturdays and Sundays too, so you’ll have more reasons to be productive during the weekends.  The idea of this Power List is to sustain consistent growth every day.  

How did the Power List help me?

Before starting the Power List, I’ve tried different time management tools, including bullet journaling, memo stacking, and countless apps on my phone.  They worked, but they weren’t as efficient as I imagined them to be.  It’s been a month since I’ve tried the Power List, and here are the results I’ve experienced.

Simplified steps, multiplied productivity

Unlike other reminder tools or task management apps, the Power List takes no time to set up.   Because of how easy it is to start and commit, the only complication is to make sure I stick to the list.  Once I’ve written down the five tasks I need to complete, I don’t have to track my progress constantly.  The five tasks are my main focus of the day, and I can be more productive without going back and forth to check.

Make time to reflect and plan ahead

Every morning, I’d start my day with my morning coffee and my Power List.  Instead of scrolling my phone without a purpose, I begin my day thinking about being a better person than the day before.  Because of actively thinking about the tasks, I started to dive deeper into what aspects of my life I would focus on.  Here are some of the tasks I’ve been writing down:

  • Read two chapters of “Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?” 
  • Walk 10,000 steps by the end of the day
  • Drink 3,000 ml water by the end of the day

The good thing about the Power List is, all these tasks are small and actionable.  It doesn’t have to be long term or impactful.  The tasks are the things I would like to improve and work on in my everyday life.  Once the tasks start becoming habits, I can then focus on other parts of my life.  You could also look back anytime and see what you’ve achieved and what needs to be done.

Do what I promised I would do

The Power List is like a commitment to myself.  Once I’ve promised myself I would complete the five tasks, I would try my best to.  I feel great about completing them, and it helps make me feel more confident in achieving bigger goals.  If, unfortunately, there’s a day I don’t complete my tasks, it also indicates that I might be too ambitious about the tasks, or there’s something I need to work on.  More importantly, the Power List is an actual promise to myself, and committing to myself is the basis for self-confidence.

One-month review and what’s next?

In the beginning, it wasn’t easy for me to think of 5 tasks every day, especially during the holidays and weekends.  Sometimes the tasks I’ve written down were too ambitious, and sometimes they weren’t challenging enough.  The good thing about having the notebook around is I get to flip back and forth between pages so I could reflect on the accomplishments I’ve made and the failed tasks I’ve missed. 

A month has gone by, and I’m still happy with how the Power List has helped me.  I’m still using the Power List, and I can’t wait to see how much I can achieve in a year.

If you’re also looking for new challenges and ways to be a better you, I’d recommend trying the Power List.  All you need is a notebook and a pen and, you’re good to go! 
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