Todo lists are great. You put all your undone stuff on them and have these things out of your head. Seriously – having a clear mind is a perfect precondition to achieve killer productivity. Having 1000 matters circling around in your mind will only keep you busy not to forget anything (like when you waste 10 minutes trying to remember this important thing that came to you yesterday and you didn’t wrote it down because you thought you wouldn’t lose sight of).
So let’s assume in the meanwhile we all know about this and we put everything that needs to be done on our todo lists. What now?
One approach could be to start with the first item on the list. Another technique could be to do the easy stuff first, so we got that out of the way and than get into the nitty-gritty. Or the other way around!??
Well, while every effort spend on meaningful tasks is a good thing, there’s something else you should do before you get down to work: Prioritize!
Without prioritization chances are you spend too much time on things which are rather less, and too little time on stuff which would be more important for your life’s big goals.
So how to prioritize wisely? Different approaches here as well! I’m gonna throw some light on two of them today.
The first system isn’t the one I use, but I liked the twist in the story I read about it – it made me think. It’s Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy. Here’s the story: http://jamesclear.com/buffett-focus
System number 2 is the one I apply for my prioritization: The Eisenhower Matrix
The idea behind this is to divide your todos into four areas:
As always, there is an app for this®: Priority Matrix – Effective Task Management for Work and Life
But even if you have some other kind of task management tool which doesn’t support the Eisenhower Matrix, you can apply the system for your prioritization anyhow. You could use tags (like for example in “Things”) or priority-flags (like for example in “Todoist”) to sort your todos into one of the categories “Important and urgent”, “Important, but not urgent”, “Not important, but urgent” or “Not important, not urgent”.
Give it a try and see how it will help you to do “first things first”!