How to benefit from a priority to-do-list
Let’s be honest, how long is your to-do list?
Is it hard to tell because you have lists of items jotted down on different scraps of paper?
Are you not sure because you have more than one list to keep track of?
Or, you can’t be certain because your list seems to grow faster than it declines?
Either way, you have a brain facing gridlock with a daunting list of things to-do. Yes, you got them out of your head and into a daily planner or digital app. But now, you’re face-to-face with a list you have to do something about.
Where Do You Begin?
It natural to break the gridlock by going for the easy things first. You get a quick sense of accomplishment as your brain bathes in its own dopamine reward.
You may feel proud of yourself. But, you’re still stuck with a list of important items not getting your attention.
A priority to-do list breaks the gridlock by reducing the number of items in the order of their importance.
What you move to the top of the list is the most important thing you need to accomplish (goal, want or desire). Lesser items cease to be as important. They may be delegated, moved way down the list, or even eliminated.
A Priority To-Do List Takes Time
It might be easy to argue that you don’t have time to prioritize your to-do list. “After all, look at the size of my list and how much time it’s going to take before I can cross them off!”
If you ever want to be able to optimize your productivity, then making time to prioritize your to-do list is a must.
And, not- so surprisingly there are lots of benefits that will make it worth your time.
The Benefits of a Priority To-Do List (3 Levels)
- Reduces stress, overwhelm, unnecessary frustration and anxiety
- Provides faster results because of focused attention
- Makes planning more efficient and effective
- Improves time management
- Enhances organizing and prioritizing skills
- Offers freedom and flexibility in scheduling
- Frees up more personal time
- Increases success by making objectives and goals more attainable
- Gives an overview of where to focus attention first
- Helps to decide what’s important and keeps your focus on it.
- Creates meaningful progress for yourself
- Allows you to design a balance between life and work
- Removes excuses for avoidance or procrastination
- Makes managing expectations and changes easier
- Give greater control over your day’s activities
- Improves your ability to accomplish goals
Big Take Away Benefits:
- Indicates which things are within your power to accomplish
- Provides a means for enhancing outcomes and success
- Improves professional abilities
- Clearly, identifies –
- the work that needs to be done
- key areas that will produce the best results
- in what order to proceed
- what’s important vs. what’s urgent
Finally, the ultimate benefit is from Brian Tracy — it’s the best return investment on your mental, physical and emotional energy.
Take-a-way: A long list of to-do items doesn’t have to put your brain into gridlock. Taking time to make the important ones your priority shortens your list, makes you more productive and offsets your time with great benefits.
How about it? Is what’s at the top of your to-do-list a priority?
Sources: There are many excellent sources to learn more about prioritizing your to-do list. Here are a few I found to be very helpful.
Image: Creative Commons