So you have a to-do list and you’re ready to begin checking off the tasks you need to get done. But looking at it all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to even start. That’s why you should consider these tips on prioritizing the goals on your to-do list.
List the Most Important Tasks First
In Steven R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” habit 3 suggests that you arrange the tasks in order of importance based on your own values, priorities, and purpose. This way you know which goals you should focus on first. Think about the tasks that will have the most serious consequences if you do not complete them on time. End the list with the least important tasks, or those that you can do the next day. According to Quick and Dirty Tips, if you’re having trouble deciding which tasks to get done first, you should make a grid that lists what is important and not important, and what is urgent and not urgent. The tasks that fall into both the urgent and important square of the grid should be first on your to-do list.
Use Context When Organizing Your List
According to Forbes, you shouldn’t waste time thinking about tasks that you cannot do at this moment. For example, you may be in a business meeting when you remember that you need to buy batteries at the store. Unless you can get up right away and complete this task, it is not a priority right now. Consider making a different list for each part of your life, such as home, family, and work.
Drop Useless Tasks from Your List
If you are having trouble completing your to-do list, look for a few things you can stop doing. BusinessNewsDaily points out that most people have at least a few things they really don’t need to do on a daily basis. And for those tasks that you simply cannot drop from your list but still don’t have time to do, delegate them to other people instead.
Be Realistic About Your Time
Levo League recommends that you be realistic when it comes to deciding what you can get done each day. There are only so many hours in the day, and creating a to-do list that never even gets halfway done can be simply discouraging. If you are constantly worn out and yet you still never complete your goals for the day, consider giving yourself a little more time for each task. This should reduce the stress and frustration you might be feeling when you look at your to-do list.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
If you tend to lose the scraps of paper where you write down your goals, use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop instead. Most modern devices have calendars that allow you to add your to-do list for the day. You can even set an alarm to make sure you are alerted to a deadline coming up for each goal. In addition, Forbes lists a few to-do list applications, some of which allow you to share your goals with others or even turn your list into a fun game.
How do you make sure you get your to-do list done?
Written by Written by Ashford University staff.