How successful people approach a to-do list

I have struggled with prioritising tasks and the importance of urgency for a long time.

It seems that we are bombarded with tasks throughout the day and are unable to cope. There are a few steps that you can take to help you prioritise and accomplish your full potential:Stick

1- Make sure that your to-do list is divided into three sections: need to, have to and want to.

2- Ask yourself what tasks are most important.

3- Decide which activities are urgent and focus on the reason why. Is there a deadline? Is the task time-sensitive?

4- This is when you think about the 4 D’s- Do, Diarise, Delegate or Ditch. According to Dr. Stephen Convey: “Importance and urgency seem like they are the same thing, however they are two completely different concepts. Importance relates to the task that are strategically relevant and are there to aid your progress and development. Whereas urgency relates to tasks that need immediate attention and tend to be time sensitive.”

5- Now that you have made your list, prioritise those urgent tasks and stick to them.   Sticking to your to-do list will help reduce anxiety as well.


Dr. Stephen Convey’s matrix above makes it a lot easier for you to address the priority of the tasks that you need to accomplish. Your first priority should be the tasks that fall into the important and urgent category, then you can address task that are in the important but not urgent section. Once you have addressed these you can move on and start thinking about the urgent but not important and finally the task that are neither important nor urgent.

The main thing to take away from the matrix is to focus on the important but not urgent tasks. The next time you set out to do your to-do List think about tasks that you want, need and have to do and ask yourself what is important and what is urgent.

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