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Prioritize Your To Do List body brain alliance

Prioritizing Tasks: Tackling the Impossible To-Do List

Let’s set the scene… 

 

You’re sitting at your desk. It’s 10:00 AM and you just started working.

 

You look down at your to-do list and suddenly… total overwhelm. 

 

 

There are a thousand things on that list, or at least it feels like it and you have no idea how to prioritize your tasks so you know what you’re going to do first. 

 

 

Trust me when I say if you’ve had this experience, you’re not alone. At least 95% of my clients have struggled with this exact thing – prioritization

 

 

My name is Dr. Karin Nordin and I’m a behavior change expert. 

 

I’ve helped hundreds of people just like you stop living on autopilot and start living the intentional meaningful lives they’ve always wanted. 

 

 

Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:

 

The truth is, prioritization is not something we ever learned in school. Even though I think we should have. 

 

We learned the Pythagorean theorem and the Swedish capital, but we never learned how to look at a to-do list and figure out what actually needs to be done first. 

 

You never learned how to prioritize your tasks properly…

Luckily, that’s what you’re going to learn today. 

In this blog, I’m going to give you 3 different tools you can use in order to prioritize.

 

I want you to actually do it with me as you’re reading this!

 

Step 1: Grab a piece of paper, your favorite gel pen and then come back to this page.  

 

Step 2: Take a minute, write down every single thing that you have to do. 

Once you have your to-do list, let’s jump in with our first method of prioritization, which is really simple:

 

Prioritization Method #1: Deadline Based Prioritization

 

To use this, I want you to go through your list and all I want you to do is write down the absolute deadline that each item has. 

 

Not when you want it done, not when it would be idealistically done, but absolutely what is the latest that you can do it. 

 

Do that right now with your to-do list. 

 

NOTE: If you watch this on YouTube, I do this exercise with you in real time too. 

 

For example, on my list there were two things that needed to be done on the same day I wrote the list. So immediately I would prioritize those first. 

Then I would do what’s called racing the date. 

 

When you race the date, it means that you go in order of when things are due and you try to get as far ahead as possible. 

 

Maybe right now you do the things that are due today, but then you also get a little bit ahead and everything that’s due tomorrow so it’s already done. 

 

This will give you a little bit of momentum and excitement!

Then you move on to the next day. Challenge yourself, make it fun and see how far ahead you can get. 

 

Now I know what’s coming, you are going to tell me, but all of my tasks are due tomorrow (immediately). 

 

Okay, that’s fine (take a deep breath). 

 

We will simply move to step two or the next method of prioritization, which you can either do independently or you can stack with the one we just went over. 

 

Prioritization Method #2: Emotion-Based Prioritization

 

Let me give you a big old permission slip. 

 

You are allowed to prioritize your to-do list based on the emotions that you feel about each task. 

 

Sure, maybe that’s not the most logical or “strategic” way to do things, but if there’s something that’s due next Friday that’s completely stressing you out, do that first. 

 

The benefits of reducing that stress will create so much more productivity than leaving it because it technically could not be done right this second. 

 

To implement this method, I want you to take out three different colored pens or highlighters. 

 

1st Color = Highest stress

2nd Color = Lowest stress 

3rd Color = Medium stress

 

Keep in mind, lowest stress doesn’t mean low stress. You can be stressed about everything on  your to-do list if you want to be. It just means out of all of the things, these are the lowest amount of stress. 

 

>> Go through that same to-do list and highlight or underline each item on the list based on what level of stress it’s causing you.

 

Alright, let’s jump into our last method of prioritization…

 

Prioritization Method #3: Ripple Prioritization

 

This is going to be super helpful for you if you’re working on a team, collaborating with others, or you have a big family that you’re dealing with. 

 

By the way, if you are loving this information, this is actually a tiny sneak peek of what’s in our Compassionate Calendar Course. We launch it twice a year, so you can get on the waitlist HERE.

 

Ripple tasks are tasks that affect other people, and in this case you might want to get them done earlier because otherwise you might block someone else. 

 

So for example, if you need to send a report to a colleague so they can edit the report and get it to your boss by Friday. The initial sending would be a ripple task. 

 

Personally, I like to start out my week and mark Ripple tasks as a higher priority. That’s because I’m working with my team and it makes me feel good. 

 

It lowers my stress level in order to get them the things that they need in order to do the work I want them to do. 

 

*To implement this, all you’re going to do is take a black pen and put a little asterisk next to each task that has a ripple and might affect someone else.

 

POOF! Now you should have your list prioritized. 

 

Join The Discussion: 

 

I would love to hear from you as accountability in the comments and answer this: 

      • What is the #1 thing on your list for today? 

    And if you’re like, “Karin, I know what to do, but what I struggle with is once I have it prioritized… Getting myself past procrastination and resistance and getting myself to actually do it.”

     

    If that’s you, I highly suggest you check out this blog, which is going to give you some more concrete tips for exactly that issue: The Cure For Procrastination: 3 Easy Strategies for Lasting Change

     

    Thank you for reading, see you in the next one! 

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    Hi, I'm Karin

    I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.

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