We’ve all experienced the frustrating feeling of staring down at a seemingly unending list of things to do. It isn’t fun, especially if there’s so much more to accomplish that you can’t even decide where or how to get started. But don’t start panicking just yet, as we’ve listed down some tips on how you can prioritize your to-do list even if your workload is completely unmanageable.
- List Down Tasks That Should be Done Immediately
If you’re anything like us, then your to-do list always becomes a dumping ground of various tasks and projects. It is where you list down all the random ideas that pop in your head – whether it’s an idea for a long-term project, or a new book that you want to get started reading soon.
Although there’s nothing wrong in jotting down your ideas, get into the habit of separating your to-do list. This will help you see which tasks need to be done first, while keeping you from feeling overwhelmed with it.
- Understand the Difference Between Important and Urgent
Recognizing the difference between urgent and important is the key to prioritizing your to-do list. So for each task on your list, ask yourself: “Does this need to be done tomorrow morning?” Doing so will help you separate the things that need to get done from the things that you want to get done.
When you’re pressed for resources and time, focus on working on the essentials. Tasks without pressing deadlines should immediately be removed on your list.
- Group Similar Tasks Together
Constantly switching from one task to another often causes distraction, and makes it difficult for you to focus and cross certain tasks off your to-do list. This is where the concept of ‘batching or grouping’ your tasks come in. Several productivity experts asserted that grouping similar tasks significantly increases a person’s productivity. So address your lingering tasks first before tackling the bigger ones, and see how it can uptick your focus and productivity at work.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique basically splits our workday into chunks. You get to work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break after. This full cycle is how the technique works.
Although taking breaks might seem counterintuitive when your schedule is packed, using this time management system actually aids in instilling a sense of urgency. You’ll feel more motivated to get as much work done in 25 minutes, and you’ll be more purposeful on where you use your time.
- Estimate the Time You’ll Use on Each Task
The best way to successfully finish your to-do list is to set time estimates on your tasks. Beside each task, write down how much time you’ll need to finish it. After that, add everything up including an extra hour for unexpected circumstances.
If your estimate adds up to a ridiculous number of hours then start prioritizing your tasks and projects. Doing this will help you be realistic with what you’re aiming to complete. Plus, it allows you to have a positive outlook even if you’ve missed a deadline.
When managing your tasks and responsibilities, ensure that you do it using your best judgment. After all, nobody knows and understands your work style better than yourself.