When the daily to do list is never ending, it’s time to evaluate. Time to prioritize the list of things and get on top of what means the most to you. It’s also time to ask yourself ‘what’s important, what’s going to help you achieve your goals?’ Having an effective daily to do list that asks the right question, can help you prioritize your daily tasks.
If you’re like me, you have a few goals on the go at the same time. We don’t focus on only one thing in life. We focus on multiple things. Even though you focus on multiple goals, one thing is clear, multi tasking is not the way forward. It is best to prioritize your time and focus on one thing at a time.
How to prioritize your daily to do list?
Set a timer for five minutes and write down all the things you need to do today.
I like to order my list as I write. I have 3 categories for my list, a general list, a business list, a study list. Under each list I write the tasks I think I need to do today.
I say think you need to do today as we all over plan and write too many things down. A daily to do list is not the spring cleaning list of everything that you need to do.
Tip. If you don’t order your list as you write, use colours or a symbol next to the task on the list to categorize it.
NO long list today.
It is great to do a brain dump of everything you need to do as it is great to declutter the mind. However, a brain dump list is extensive and cannot be achieved in a day. After all, we all only have 24 hours. Naturally, there are many advantages of a brain dump, like de-stressing and putting things into perspective.
A brain dump is similar to writing a to do list, but it is a master list. Read hear for how to organize and effective brain dump.
Once you have written the things you need to do today, it’s time work out the important ones. The tasks that align with your values and goals.
Add, Eliminate or delegate, the questions that help you choose.
Once you’ve written your list rank every item on the list in order of priority. To do that ask these questions as you look at the list.
- How important is the task to your big goal, or at least one of your big goals?
- If I don’t do this task what would happen?
- Can I delegate this task?
As I write this I have shopping on my list. Boring grocery shopping. Naturally, if I don’t do the shopping we’ll have no food in the house. So of course, sometime today I will go shopping.
There will always be some general activities that may need to be done.
Tip: if you get distracted too much when you go out shopping, shop online. It may be what saves you time.
From your list look at your top 5 priorities. Write the top 5 down and do those first.
Ok, I know it is easier said than done sometimes, especially if you need to head out the door for work. Your top 5 priorities may need to wait to be actioned later in the day. To plan the tasks into your day, look at dividing your day. Sectioning your day can help you with completing tasks on your to do list.
Dividing the day for success.
In life we have goals, yet we also live and with living comes many tasks that just need to get done. Yes, some tasks can be delegated, like housework, gardening, shopping, cooking. Those are just general living tasks. Other tasks may be delegated for business, like Pinterest services, product creating, blogging assistance, social media management, customer service. Many bloggers use virtual assistants to help them grow their businesses.
If you are not in the position to delegate or outsource, it is important to divide your day, so you can achieve your goals.
Prioritize your daily to do list with time blocking.
To be productive each day requires some planning. One way to plan is to use your calendar and block time for all areas of your life. Work, fitness, blogging, study. I stick to 5 areas, which I’ve spoken about in this time blocking article.
How to create a productive to-do list.
Place the tasks you have written in slots allocated for the time period you have set for that life area. As you prioritize the tasks also look at how they could be connected to other areas of your life.
For example, if in your general life category, you have written shopping, can you stop at the shops and go shopping on the way home from work?
If under health, you have ‘go for a walk or run’, can this be prior to work or even during your lunch break (if you get one). Lunch breaks are healthy and can revitalize you, yet I know many shift workers have lunch on the job.
Time blocking is about prioritizing your day so you can be productive in many areas of your life. Read this post ‘How to time block effectively‘ to learn about time blocking.
Do you need a few more hours in the day?
I’m sure you’ve heard before that the ‘early bird catches the worm.’ Getting up early can help you increase your productivity and creativity. In fact, you can win the day when you create a productive morning routine.
I like to start my morning by writing in my journal. Journaling is great for mental health and productivity. If you haven’t tried journaling, read 5 ways to start a personal journal. My journal helps me with productivity.
The ONE question I ask myself daily.
At the top of my daily journal I always ask this one question.
‘What 2 things can I do today to feel amazing and bring me closer to my goals?’
The answers I have for that question are all business related as my journal is my journey to achieving my goals and fulfilment. However, I work shift work and cannot always tackle my most important business task in the morning. I do, however, schedule time daily to work on my business and that is when I work on the 2 things I can do that will help me achieve my goals. I’ve found prioritizing time for activities throughout the day important for progress.
Related post: 7 Simple ways to structure your day.
If you want to experience significant progress toward your goal, you need to be intentional about the work you’re doing every day.Anonymous
When you wrote out your tasks to do today, did you write down 2 things that will bring you closer to your goal? If not, reevaluate your list to add 2 tasks that will make you feel amazing and bring you closer to your goal.
The 2 tasks that take you closer your goal may be small steps, a simple phone call to book a personal trainer or creating a new blog pin. Each day every small steps counts.
Putting the list in order.
The best way to prioritize your daily to do list is;
1. Write down all you need to do today.
2. Put the items on the list into 3-5 categorizes.
3. Prioritize your list. Remember the 3 questions.
4. Divide your day with time blocking.
5. Add your daily tasks to the correct time block for the day.
6. Ask yourself the 1 question and add the tasks to your list.
7. Take action on your list. Without action, nothing is accomplished.
Get your free printable daily to do list here that will help you take steps towards your goals.
Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia.