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How to Prioritize Your Tasks and Regain Your Time

"Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not." ~Cal Newport

Time Management Tips

One of the hardest things with setting priorities is deciding what to do first when you have a million things on your list. 

I struggle with this one all the time.

However, I’ve discovered a powerful trick for reminding me of what’s most important. 

I’ll show you what I mean in a minute… and teach you how to put it to good use for your own prioritizing and time management needs!

Let’s get started!

Get it Written Down

Get some paper or your laptop and do some speed writing.

On one piece, write everything that comes to mind that has a set due date today, tomorrow, or this week.

On another piece of paper, or on the back, write down important things that you need to do or finish that don’t have a set due date yet — these are important to you personally or for life/work in general.

On the third piece of paper, list the things you’d really like to accomplish soon. They aren’t a high priority, but you don’t want these things to be put off until next year.

On the last piece, write down things that you’d really like to do or accomplish in the future and don’t want to forget. These can be things that mean a lot to you but you don’t mind if it takes a year or two. 

This could also include things from a bucket list.

Once you have your list, you need to begin to organize it.

Methods for Visualizing Your To-Do List

There are a few main ways to accomplish this:

  1. Eisenhower Matrix
  2. Four Column List
  3. Mind Map or Bubble List

Let’s break them down a little more!

Eisenhower Matrix

This is broken up into:

  • Important and urgent
  • Urgent but not important
  • Important but not urgent
  • Not important and not urgent

You want to classify your tasks that way and then start from the top of the list and work your way down.

The four pages can easily be reclassified into these categories for you to get in control of your time management.

Four Column List

This method is perfect if you don’t want anything complicated.

All you have to do is take the action items you have and put them into four columns.

That’s it…literally.

Mind Map or Bubble List

There are actually tools that can help you create these online. I like the tool Mind Meister for this.

It helps me plan out ideas and tasks and it’s completely free.

I like mind mapping because it’s creative and allows me to have a visual way to view the tasks I need to do in a way that makes sense for me.

It’s the hub and spoke model, so to speak.

Conclusion

Learning effective time management doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take some time to set up.

In this article, I discussed the following ways to help you visualize your tasks:

  • Eisenhower Matrix
  • Four Column List
  • Mind Mapping or Bubble List

I hope this post helped you!

Let me know your favorite time management hack in the comments below 🙂

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