Home » To-Do List Prioritization

Using to-do lists is a great way to get your life organized. However, while jotting down a handful of tasks to complete is relatively easy, writing a to-do that effectively increases your productivity requires a bit of knowledge and effort. One key to writing an effective to-do list is prioritizing.

Sometimes, you may not have enough time in a day to complete your entire to-do, so you need to take care of the items that are most important first. This way, your most important business will be taken care of even if you have a busier day than expected.

What Should I Prioritize?

Deciding what to put at the top of your daily to-do can be a bit difficult. While you obviously need to attend scheduled meetings and appointments on that day, you also must decide what projects you want to work on or goals that you need to accomplish. However, once you learn how to decide what goes at the front, your days will be far more organized.

Use these three criteria to help decide what needs to be at the top of your agenda:

  1. Urgency: Does the task need to be completed today?
  2. Importance: How important is this task? Is it vital to a larger project or goal?
  3. Motivation: How badly do I want to accomplish this today?

In general, anything that’s a top priority will fall under at least one of the three categories. If you’re organizing a party, for example, you may not necessarily need to get something done today, but that step might be essential to future progress or be something you’ve been wanting to get done for a while. Therefore, you should keep all three factors in mind when you compose your to-do.

To-Do Prioritization Tips and Tricks

If you’re having trouble getting your to-do organized, then use these helpful hints to master the art of task management.

Use a System that Works for You

While you should always determine your priorities on a to-do list, you should use a system that works for you. Some people might color code their checklist whereas others will rank items by importance. As long as it’s understandable and well-organized, then your system will work for you.

Keep it Short and Simple

With to-do’s, your mantra should be short and simple. You shouldn’t have more than ten items on your checklist at any time, and your items should be short and actionable. This way, your to-do will stay manageable.

Use Technology to your Advantage

Technology is a great tool if you’re looking to use to-do’s to get organized. You can use smartphone apps to keep your to-do with you even when you’re on the go, and as an added bonus, many of these apps with sync with your phone calendar and any shared calendars that you have to remind you of appointments and other important events.

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