deepstash

Beta

How to Ruthlessly Prioritize Tasks to Get More Done

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

https://zapier.com/blog/prioritize-task-list-methods/

zapier.com

How to Ruthlessly Prioritize Tasks to Get More Done
Checking items off your to-do list is a beautiful thing-but it's also easier said than done. The best way I've found to make sure you complete your tasks is through ruthless prioritization. That means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also...

8

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Ruthless prioritization

It means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also means deciding what's the most important task even when everything on your list feels crucial.

But if you can prioritize...

1482 SAVES


Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In or...

1259 SAVES


Analyze Your Task List

 Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
  • Defer: complete it later

1669 SAVES


Use a priority matrix

Use a priority matrix

Take all of your tasks and assign each a priority.

This tool is particularly helpful for those times when you're drowning under a million things to do, as it helps you visualize what's rea...

1204 SAVES


Use relative prioritization

Assign each task a priority number, to weigh each task against the others in order to determine where to start first.

In these cases, it's also helpful to break your tasks down...

1125 SAVES


Focus on your Most Important Tasks (MITs)

Choose a few (usually 3) tasks to get done each day; those become your MITs.

When using MITs, your to-do list would have 1-3 of these, and anything else listed would become bonus

1392 SAVES


Pick a single thing to focus on

When you're really struggling to get anything done, you should try this method, even if temporarily.

When you look at your task list, pick a single thing to focus on that day. It could be one...

1193 SAVES


Find your 20% task

The Pareto principle states: You tend to get 80% of your results from 20% of your work.

What's really tricky is working out what that 20% is that brings in the results. But once...

1319 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Personal Operations Category

  • Task management. This one is most commonly taught and includes systems like Getting Things Done.
  • Knowledge management. This is embodied in systems like productivity educa...

What's on your plate

Prioritizing tasks at work involves getting all your tasks and commitments in one place.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to get done. Questions to help you:

  • Do you have commitments to others like your boss, partner, kids, or clients?
  • Do you have anything you need to submit? 
  • Do you have any financial tasks that need to get done? 
  • Do you have any planning that needs to get done? 
  • Do you have any administrative tasks? Legal, insurance, staffing, or training?
  • Do you have any professional development tasks that need to get done? Training, areas to research, skills to develop, books to read or study, or classes to take?

Brainstorm your goals

Find your goals. Without them, it is impossible to prioritize your tasks. Try to set 90-day goals, which is long enough to make meaningful progress. Questions to prompt goals:

  • What’s the one thing you could do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?
  • If you were giving advice to someone else in your position, what 1-3 things would you tell them to focus on?
  • What do you want to have accomplished over the next five years?

8 more ideas

Learning how to prioritize...

...means getting more out of the limited time you have each day. It’s one of the cornerstones of productivity and once you know how to properly prioritize, it can help with everything fro...

Master lists

Capture everything on a Master List and then break it down by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

  1. Start by making a master list—a document, app, or piece of paper where every current and future task will be stored. 
  2. Once you have all your tasks together, break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  3. When setting your priorities, try not to get too “task oriented” - you want to make sure you’re prioritizing the more effective work.

Eisenhower Matrix

The matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that answers that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones:

  • Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
  • Important, but not urgent: Decide when you’ll do these and schedule it
  • Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else
  • Neither urgent nor important: Drop these from your schedule as soon as possible.

5 more ideas

Zen to Done (ZTD)

It's a productivity system that teaches how to take a simple approach to improving your productivity, by encouraging you to focus on forming one productivity-boosting habit at a time. 

The Minimalist Habits of Zen to Done

  • Collect: Get ideas and to-dos out of your brain and onto a list.
  • Process: Review your list daily and decide how to act on each item.
  • Plan: Pick a few high priority items to accomplish each week and every day.
  • Do: Schedule time to accomplish your selected to-dos without interruptions.

The Collect Habit

To clear your mind and improve focus, get your ideas and to-dos out of your mind and onto a list. 

Documenting to-dos in the moment lessens the likelihood that you'll forget to do something and gives you a master list of to-dos to reference when you're trying to decide where to direct your time.

2 more ideas