WILT #24: How to Prioritize Tasks

WILT #24: How to Prioritize Tasks

I have organizational issues. Or at least I thought I did….til I read this post on medium.com. Now, after spending part of today organizing my studio/office/craft room, I will be spending tomorrow making a long list and chopping away at it, prioritizing by importance. Unfortunately I think most of my tasks are too big to finish 9 in a day, unless I really break them down, but I think I can do a lot if I have a plan. Especially if I can pretend someone else made the list for me.

Here it is, 4 actionable steps to prioritize tasks:

Step 1: Spew your todo(s). Write out all the things you have to do. Empty that big grey fella of yours. Get every piece of niggling nonsense out and into one list. Think your done? Think again. What about your goals? What about movies you want to watch? What about birthdays you always forget. Keep blowing your to-do load until you start to feel light headed. That feeling is the weight of a thousand irksome thoughts being lifted from your shoulders and dumped onto a page. Or maybe there’s a gas leak in your building. Either way, we’re done with step 1.

Step 2: File your pile. Nope I’m not dishing out some medieval medical advice here. You’ll need to take a look at this abomination of a list in front of you, and start making smaller lists. Give these smaller lists titles and look to group tasks together under these titles. Then you’ll need to decide what would really make a difference if you managed to get a line through it in the next 24 hours. Siphon these tasks into one list for the day. Try to limit the number to single figures. Working around 9 tasks in a day is like baby bears porridge…just right!

Step 3: Tag your swag. Take a look at your chosen shortlisted tasks. Decide if the task is: 1-a must do today 2- a should do today ( if you get through your 1s) or 3-a could do today (if you manage to get through your 1s and 2s). Tag your 9 tasks with these priorities.

Step 4: Start your art. Your mission should you choose to accept it (and you better feckin accept it after all we’ve come through) is to complete all 9 tasks. Start the day with all your ‘must dos’. Once you complete them move onto your ‘should dos’ and finally your ‘could dos’.

And that’s it. That’s the fix.

Once you have your big list split into smaller lists, picking and prioritizing your tasks for the next day should take no more than 5 minutes. Then wake up the next day and get started. Rinse and repeat everyday. You’ll no longer suck at productivity and you’ll never have to apologize again.

Read more and get a guide at medium.com

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