Let’s face it: there are a lot of people that do not prioritize. They just pick a task and do it, and then later discover that there was something more important that should have been accomplished. It’s possible to look busy and be busy without really accomplishing anything, and at the end of the day the things you really needed to get done are still waiting for you.
Then you spend your night awake worrying about getting it done. That is when you should realize what other people in New Jersey already know: You need to prioritize.
Each night before you go to sleep, write down everything you feel you have to do the following day. It can be anything from brushing your teeth in the morning to filing your taxes for the year. But if you know it has to get done, write it down. If you need more than one sheet of paper, use it. The idea is to make your tasks more visual. If you see them on paper, you will remember that they have to be done. Although you may not remember your whole list if you leave it home, you will still know the basics of what needs to be accomplished while you are at work.
The next step is to give each task a rating. Use the letter “A” for the most important and time sensitive tasks, “B” or the next level, and “C” for the smaller ones that need to be done, but can wait for some time. Once you finish your rating system, put your “A” list on a 3×5” card, a sheet paper, in a text reminder in your PDA, or a “To Do” list in your Smartphone. It’s important that you keep that list where it is easy for you to get to.
The reason for keeping that “A” list in the forefront is that a lot of people get symptoms of C fever. They take care of their C list first in order to cross things off of their To-Do list. But you have to ask yourself if those are the tasks you need to be concentrating on. If you carry your “A” list with you, you will be more likely to cross those off your list for the day. Then you can move the “B” to “A” status, and so on. As you think of tasks that need to get done, add them to your list while crossing others off. As time goes one, you will be in the habit of working your “A’s” off.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.