8 Productivity Hacks to Get Out of To-Do List Purgatory
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Spend 5 minutes each morning preparing your task list to have only accomplishable tasks that fit the time you have available. Keep other tasks on a holding list for another day.
Set a timer for 15 minutes, shut out the world and concentrate with intense focus on one and only one task. Closing your door and turning off your phone and internet are specially important.
Recognize that not everything in your list must be done. When in doubt, delete it from your list; if it is important you’ll eventually add it back.
80% of your success comes from the top 20% of your daily tasks. So, choose the tasks that offer you the highest yield per hour of effort.
Each day, you need to declare three priorities to which you should focus most of your energy. This can’t always be done, but it’s important you learn to take advantage of the 80/20 rule when possible.
Start your day doing the worst task possible and you’ll have a much easier time working through your to-do list. Avoiding the hardest tasks creates a black hole effect where other tasks are sucked in and your list grows totally stagnant.
Re-write each task so they are sentences that begin with a verb and have a clear outcome. Not offering detailed instructions or using vague words makes the task seem daunting and unapproachable.
For bigger tasks that can’t be turned into a specific action, it needs to be broken down into smaller steps.
Setting deadlines for your major tasks helps to keep you focused during your task time. It’s also gratifying to maintain start-stop points in your task times.
Having time constraints offers you a tangible comfort zone for doing your work, and it offers a much greater sense of accomplishment than working until something distressing.
If you’re not making progress or don’t know what to do next, do the next thing you can think, or move on to the next one. Don’t let yourself freeze up or you risk procrastination and futility.
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