1-Minute Playbook: How To Manage Your To-Do List

stop-watch-396862_1280The first of the two critical processes in time management, is managing the to-do list. While we would like to focus on the tasks that will lead to our ultimate goals, there are many things that come our way. Managing the to-do list is crucial to our ability to achieve goals in life.

Task management is one of the core processes in time management. This answers the key question, “What is the best use of my time right now?” In order to answer this question, we need to identify the various demands on our time, make a list of tasks, prioritize the tasks, filter the list of tasks, and act on the remaining tasks. The demands on our time stem from the various roles we have in our personal and professional lives. They can also be classified under routine tasks, required tasks, optional tasks, obligatory tasks, desired tasks, and goal-oriented tasks. By thinking of the various roles and goals within each role, we could come up with quite a large list of tasks that need to get done.

After the lists are made, we must prioritize the tasks according to importance and urgency. An easy way is to Place your tasks into four classes: Urgent and Important, Important but Not Urgent, Urgent but Not Important and Neither Important Nor Urgent. Tasks can also be prioritized according to most important, less important, and least important or must do, may do, and would like to do.

After tasks are prioritized, they may be filtered using the Pareto Principle, which states that 20% of the tasks give you 80% of the value. By identifying the value of the tasks over a period of time, we can eliminate the 80% of tasks that only yield 20% value.

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