One of the keys to being productive (aka. NOT procrastinating and wasting your valuable time on stuff that doesn’t serve any purpose) and successful in your in life is the ability to prioritize your tasks. The fact that time is not limitless, as unfortunate as it may sound, is actually true. It is limited. It is also one of the biggest most common excuses we tell ourselves to ‘justify’ not moving ahead in life.
The truth is that we all have the same number of minutes in the day – 1,440 in fact. It is how we CHOOSE to use them that counts.
Being able to focus on the tasks that matter will help you achieve the most progress and satisfaction in the shortest possible time. So you can still give yourself opportunity to kick back, chill, disengage. Because we DO need balance.
So how do you know what to prioritize?
1. WRITE IT DOWN
This is the best way to get everything that’s at the ‘back of your head’ out into the open for you to sort. Write down all your tasks regardless of how menial you think they are.
It doesn’t matter whether the task is work-related or it’s a household chore. Write them all down.
2. SORT AND PRIORITIZE
The next step will be to sort out these tasks. When engaged in the sorting process, it’s important to ask yourself if these tasks/activities are in alignment with your goals and objectives.
So this is also an essential step of productivity. If you are not clear on your higher level goals, aspirations and the reason WHY, then you will always find it challenging to give enough purpose and reason behind why you ‘need to do something’
Mowing your lawn may also be on your task list, but it’s not a high priority task. In a situation like this, it’s best to delegate the job to someone else even if you have to pay someone to do it. Your time is valuable.
If you don’t wish to hire the job out, then at least do it AFTER you’ve completed the important work first.
3. USE THE EISENHOWER MATRIX
The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple, effective plan that guides you on how you prioritize your tasks across 4 easy to understand ‘categories’.
- ‘Urgent and Important’ – Do it IMMEDIATELY.
- “Urgent but Not Important’ – Do it next, after you’ve completed the immediate work.
- ‘Not Urgent but Important’ – Either delegate the job to someone, or complete it after you’ve finished the task in the first two categories above. Ideally, it’s best to delegate completely. The 70% rule is what we cover the Productivity & Performance Course.
- ‘Not Urgent and Not Important’ – Don’t it or keep it till the very end when you have a little bit of time to spare. Even better, eliminate meaningless is ALWAYS the better option.
4. GET STARTED
In order to achieve great things in life, you need to be an action taker. CONSISTENTLY. After prioritizing your tasks, you MUST start working on them. Action creates more action. Aim to quickly complete some of the important tasks so that you have a few quick wins under your belt.
Like Picasso said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.” Very often, people know what they need to do. And when you don’t have a priority, then you take no action.
For most people, if the task seems unpleasant and out of their comfort zone, they procrastinate or they engage in other tasks that are easier but of a lower priority. That gives us a false feeling of safety, comfort and ease, reducing anxiety.
This approach will obviously lead to a lack of action and feeling unfulfilled, inadequate. Just get that important task done FIRST. You’ll have to step out of your comfort zone and get started.
It’s really not that difficult.
You’ll discover that once you start taking consistent small actions, the momentum will build and you will complete tasks as a habit, effortlessly on autopilot. Overcoming mental block is the key to success. “Master the Mind, Master your Life”. There’s also a complete program dedicated to Life Mastery. Check it out.
Do use the pointers in this article to prioritize the tasks in your life and you’ll find that you’re more productive and your efforts yield better results.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
About the Author
Daniel Remon is the CEO of Fitcorp Global Group. A 20+ year veteran of the health and fitness industry, he has pioneered corporate wellness, executive performance programs and result driven health, energy and business systems for today’s busy executive. Author and speaker, Daniel is the creator of METABODI, the 28 Day Challenge, Life Quest Mastery, Goal Setting for Life, 30 Day Rituals, 42 Formula, Corporate Wellness Blueprint – Solutions to maximize productivity, optimize performance and develop highly energized and engaged clients to achieve incredible success in business and life. The driving force behind his inspiration is the ultimate purpose to Impact Ten Million Lives.
For more information, visit www.danremon.com