There’s something urgent you’ve got to do next. There’s something your boss wants from you. There’s something you need from a coworker. You promised your significant other you’d get some chores done.
Tasks. Tasks. TASKS.
You can’t do it all at once. You need to prioritize.
You read a blog post about urgent vs. important tasks. It’s a great concept, but it doesn’t help when so many things are important and urgent. A Google search turns up something called a “priority matrix,” but you don’t want to spend 20 minutes a day bucketing tasks into “now” or “later.” You need to know:
Out of all the tasks I have to do, what is the one I need to get done next?
Of course, the easiest way to know what to do next is — to have a to-do list that’s always prioritized. Fortunately, prioritizing your to-do list is easier than you think.
Next time you add a task to your to-do list, don’t give it a date. Don’t even give it a priority. Give it a time period. Categorize it by time-frame.
Do you have to get it done today? No? What about tomorrow? No. Then what about:
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Start categorizing your tasks by week, month, and year. If you use Apple Reminders or you have an iPhone and love productive apps, check out Strongweek on the App Store. If you prefer pen and paper, choose 9 pages and add these categories:
Due Today, Due Tomorrow, Due This Week, Due Next Week, Due This Month, This Year, Next Year, and Someday.
Want to make it even easier?
Consider adding your own categories as well!