We’re busy. Work, school, kids, housecleaning, etc. The to-do list seems to be never ending. But with a little prioritization we can really get more done. Working smarter and not harder is the key. Follow these steps to prioritize your to-do list and get more accomplished.
Ten Steps to Prioritize and Get More Done
1. Create your to-do list. You might want to break this down into two lists of short term and long term. Keep in mind the time frame which you hope to get everything completed.
2. Start writing your list in whatever order you think of things. Just get everything down on paper. Don’t worry about trying to do it in a specific order that you think it needs to be done. Chances are the things that are of most importance will be the first things you write down on your list anyways.
3. Break it down. Now take your to-do list and break it down into different categories. Put all of the household chores on a household list. Put all of the work chores on a work list. And so on and so on.
4. Decide how you want to approach the list. You can reorder it to make sure that the things with the highest level of importance are done first. If everything has the same level of importance, then ordering it alphabetically might be better for you. If it’s running errands, then order based on the proximity to where you’ll be located when they need to be done. So if they need to get done after work, then the first item should be at a location closest to work and the final item should be at a location closest to home.
5. Keep it visible. Post the list in a place you are sure to see and actively use it. Check off things as you go along. This way you’ll know it’s done and you’ll be encouraged by being able to see your progress.
6. Consider your deadlines. Figure out how long it’s going to take you to complete the tasks and when it needs to be done by so you can prioritize and set a time for things to be completed.
7. Do one thing on the list at a time. As tempting as it might be to do multiple tasks at once, you’ll be less effective that way and you might not come back to complete one of the tasks you have begun. So see them through to completion so you can check them of as you go.
8. Delegate. You can’t be expected to do it all. So delegate some of the tasks on your list to other people. This way it frees up time to get other things on your list completed.
9. Do the least desirable tasks on your list first. This will give you something to look forward to instead of dread.
10. Not all urgent tasks will trump important tasks. If the dry cleaning can wait to be picked up another day, then do it to give you extra time to complete that work project.
Keeping a to-do list will really help you accomplish more, so start writing your list to get your life in order.