We all know the feeling of not having enough time to accomplish everything on our to-do lists. Between school, work, relationships and other obligations, we have a lot to get done in a limited amount of time.
Everyone is different, and we all have preferences for how to keep track of tasks. Calendars, lists and reminders can be helpful, but it can still be hard to figure out what to do first and what is most important.
One way to revolutionize your to-do list is to prioritize it, to make sure you accomplish the most essential tasks before you move on to everything else.
Here are some simple formats for organizing your to-do list by priority:
Single out urgent tasks. Make a to-do list with three columns, and label each column A, B, or C. In column A, list things that must get done as soon as possible. In column C, list the things that you’d like to do, but are not essential. Put everything else in column B. Then, start with tasks in column A, and move on to the other columns when you’re able.
Sort all tasks by importance and urgency. Another strategy is using a matrix like the one below. Sort each task into the appropriate quadrant. Start with the most urgent and important to-dos in quadrant one. Schedule tasks from quadrant two on your calendar, allowing yourself enough time to meet future deadlines. Then, if you have time, you can get started on tasks in quadrants three and four.
Keep in mind that when you prioritize one thing over another, something will always fall to the bottom of your to-do list. This is normal, and even required!
Sometimes when we don’t get everything done, we feel like we’re not meeting others’ expectations for us. But remember: only you know what matters most for you now, and for your long-term success.
If you want more help with time management, check out the programs we offer.