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The secret is getting the right things done. You can prioritize your to-do list and accomplish the right things that move the needle forward and make you feel productive.
Tips to help you prioritize your to-do list:
1. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to scrub your to-do list
A great productivity tool is the Eisenhower matrix. The Eisenhower Matrix was created by former President Dwight Eisenhower to help him make decisions while in office.
The Eisenhower matrix is used to help you break up a task into one of 4 categories:
- Urgent & important
- Urgent, but not important
- Not urgent, but important
- Not urgent, not important
Urgent and important
These tasks are both urgent and important. These are the tasks that you should do first before anything else on the list. These tasks are time-sensitive and add value to your life.
Examples of this section are:
- Help your child study for a test.
- Dr appointments with your children.
- Pressing problems
- TRUE emergencies
Urgent, but not important
These are urgent, but not important to you. These usually have to deal with other people’s priorities and not your priorities. These are things you can delegate to other people. You want them done, but you don't need to do them yourself.
- Most phone calls
- Non-emergency crisis
Not urgent, but important
These tasks are not urgent (have a close deadline) but are important to you. This is where the magic is. This is where you want to spend most of your time. You prioritize these by putting them on your schedule making sure they have top priority (outside of already scheduled appointments).
- Working on goals
- Planning out your week
- Learning new things
- Taking courses
- Investing in yourself
Not urgent & not important
This is where you need to dig deep into your list. These are items that are not urgent or important. No one needs to be doing these tasks. You need to eliminate these from your list altogether.
- Busy work
- Wasting time
- Activities where you are escaping
- Some emails
- Some phone calls
Looking at your list, choose the top 3 items for the day that you want to get done. So, if you didn’t get anything done but these 3 things during the day, you would feel productive and accomplished. This will help you figure out what you need to focus on for the day. Then the other smaller tasks on your to-do list don’t matter as much. If they get done, great. If they don't, that's okay too. I usually mark things off my to-do list without even doing them using this tip. We don't realize how much busy work we're doing that doesn't even matter.
3. You decide what your priorities are and what that means to you
A). Sit down and write down a list of the priorities and write them down in order of importance.
B). Then determine what it looks like to make that thing a priority. Maybe your first priority is your spouse. What does it look like to make them a priority? Does that mean date night one time a week and then maybe an hour tighter uninterrupted after the kids go to bed? Does it mean calling him on his lunch break? What does it mean to make him a priority?
For example, if your priority was health, you don't have to focus on that 24/7 for it to be a priority. You just decide to drink 8 glasses of water a day and work out 45 minutes 4 times a week. Outside of the water drinking and working out, you might not even think about being healthy or making your health a priority because you know you have a time assigned to deal with that later. You don’t feel guilty about it because you know it’s a priority and on the schedule.
Prioritizing your to-do list helps you get the things done you want to get done. You don’t have to keep rewriting your to-do list over again at the end of the day. You can actually get some things done and accomplish the things you need to accomplish.
If you really wanna get things done faster, you need to grab our free Create a Smarter Schedule Workbook. It is a free workbook designed to help you get things done faster every week. You can get you free copy HERE.