Did you know that prioritizing art? Art that will lead you to success wherever you are important.
By setting priorities, I’m not talking too much about assigning tasks, but deciding what to prioritize following the plan for your day – finding out what tasks you will do first, and which ones you will leave to keep.
How Can You Find Active Priorities?
There are two ways to “prioritize” tasks on your to-do list that I see frequently:
Approach # 1 Dealing with Big Tasks First and Get Them Out of the Way
The idea is that by dealing with them first, you are dealing with constructive stress and anxiety and preventing you from getting anything – whether we are talking about big or small jobs. Leo Babauta is a supporter of this Big Rocks approach.
Method # 2 To Deal With Tasks You Can Do Quickly And Easily, With A little effort
Sponsors of this method believe that by looking at small frames first, you will have less noise that distracts you from the edges of your information.
If you believe in getting your email read and answered, making calls and making Google Reader go unnoticed before you get into this best-selling job, you are a proxy for this method. I think you can say that getting Getting Things Done (GTD) encourages this approach, because this method advises fans to tackle unfinished tasks within two minutes, right there.
Find Your Priorities
My approach is probably a mixture of the two.
I will write my to-do list every day and draw the top stars next to the three things I need to do that day. They don’t have to be big jobs, but nine out of ten times, they are.
Minor tasks are not important enough to verify the star in the first place; I can always run without looking at my inbox until the next day when I am full, and people who need to contact me super quickly know how.
But I do not recommend my plan to put you first. I’m not saying mine is better than Leo’s Big Rocks, and I’m not saying it’s better than “if it can be done quickly, do it first” either.
The important thing is to know when to do that depends very much on you and the way you work.
Some people need to do a little work to get a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus and focus on bigger things.
Some need to deal with major tasks or they will be busy during the day and never move on, especially when that Google Reader field just refuses to be released (personally, I recommend the Mark All As Read button – I use it for several days!).
I’m in the middle, because my patterns can fill up everywhere. Some days I will be ready to get into big projects at 7AM. Sometimes I will feel the need to name every inbox I have and clean the papers on my desk before focusing on anything important.
I also know that my peak, efficient working time doesn’t come at 11AM or 3PM or any other time as we do for most people, but I have several peaks separated by a few pens. I can hear what’s going on and try to keep my system fluid enough for me to adapt.
That’s why I use a starred list of task lists rather than a fixed task list. It allows me to be confident (something I think takes some discipline) and get a much better performance by blowing the wind.
If I fight peaks and rhinos, I will do little; but if I do certain types of work at each time of the day as they come, I will do more than many others in the same line of work.
You may not be able to gain that confidence without falling into the trap of being too busy. You may not be able to face the big tasks first in the morning without feeling like you are pushing an invisible, unstable brick wall. You may not be able to deal with small tasks before big tasks without feeling the pain of guilt and urgency.
My point is:
Priority plans themselves do not matter. They are all well-suited to a group of people, not least to the people who support them because they use them and find themselves working well.
What’s important is that you don’t fall into the same belief (and I’m not saying Leo Babauta or David Allen preach these things as a doctrine, but sometimes their supporters do it) until you try the systems too hard, find that the chronological approach works for you.
And if the system you are already working on works well, then there is no need to worry about trying others — in the world of personal production, it is very easy to confuse something that works and find yourself unable to return to your former place.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
In fact, this policy applies to all types of personal product issues, or it is important that you know what issues apply to them.
If you thought that doing a lot of work worked well for you every day and I had to argue that you were wrong – doing a lot of work is a universal myth in my books! But if you find yourself prioritizing tasks that will never be done, you may need to reconsider which of the above methods you are using and switch to a more efficient one.
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