How Do I Prioritize?
So, how does a person prioritize? The first step is taking a look at the items on the list. Are some of them projects (multiple steps are needed to complete)? Projects need to be broken down step by step so the overall task is manageable.
Let's take spring cleaning as an example. If we write "Spring Cleaning" on our To-Do list most likely it will be an item that is avoided. :) It feels overwhelming and there is no clear direction about what actually needs to happen in order to cross the task off the list. So let's get rid of some of that To-Do list fog and break down our Spring Cleaning project.
If Spring Cleaning means washing windows and airing linens, write those two tasks on your To-Do list, AND THEN SCHEDULE TIME IN THE CALENDAR TO COMPLETE THEM! That is the key - getting bigger tasks on the calendar so there is TIME to complete them. Simple one step tasks (i.e. phone calls, appointments to be made, etc.) can be grouped together with a time aside in your calendar to complete them.
Tips for Prioritizing Your To-Do List
There are simple ways to visually prioritize your To-Do list.
- Paper To-Do lists can be numbered or lettered in order of importance, or colored pens/highlighters can be used for different levels (think red for imperative tasks, green for financial tasks, etc).
- Digital To-Do lists offer an array of different options for prioritizing, as well as having on-going tasks repeat in the list (picking up milk, dry cleaning, etc.). If you want to learn more about some of my favorite digital tools for lists, be sure to go back and check out my recent post.
How do you break down your projects for completion? I'd love to know!