The Best Way to Accomplish Today’s Tasks

Do you have a notebook with the 500 tasks you need to accomplish today/ this week/ this month?  Im really good at making my to-do list, but once it’s made I can struggle with what I need to prioritize.

Best tools for productivity

I remember being a kid, staying over at my grandmas  she had a love of creating lists. Her notebooks were filled with lists of every kind. Whenever I would stay over we would write out what we wanted to do over the stay.

Notoriously, by the middle of our list we would get silly and overly specific. Leading to lists that include some details such as “wakeup, stretch….”

From that time with my grandma, I have learned list making is what keeps me on task best. It’s harder to forget what you need to do when you have it in writing.

I have found a couple ways that help keep my list organized and keep me on task.

Color Coding

The system that has been my go to for years and helps keep my tasks organized is color coding.  I take a sheet of paper and write out everything I need to accomplish in the week. I will include everything on this list, even things that are routine. This lets me prioritize my day, getting the routine things done first and moving along to the other things I need to accomplish.

I have all different colored pens and markers that I use for this. I will write out my list of tasks and things that need to be accomplished that week all get marked with one color (we’ll say green is today’s color).

This weeks list of tasksThis weeks task list

As I get things done I can cross it off with the days color. If it is something that needs to be done more than once I will write which days, so I can cross it off for the day.

One thing I really like about this system is that I can very easily add to it as I need to. It is by no means a perfect system, but it has done me well for many years.

This system can be limiting because it becomes cluttered. If you’re a person who cannot deal with clutter I would recommend against keeping your list for an entire week.

The Eisenhower Matrix Method

I recently learned of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix method from one of my favorite bloggers.  Since implementing it I have noticed how I am able to spend less time deciding what needs done next.

It follows a simple pattern, categorizing your tasks into one of 4 categories.

– urgent and important- these tasks need your immediate attention. They need done today.

– urgent but less important- these are tasks you need to do this week but do not need finished immediately.

-less urgent and important- these tasks can wait until next week if need be, or can be delegated to someone else.

– not urgent and not important- these tasks can be crossed off. They are time wasters. It isn’t anything you would even delegate to someone else.

Eisenhower Decision matrix for Prioritizing tasks

By taking my master task list and putting it into a task list I know the things that need my immediate attention and can use my time to get those most important things done first. When your most productive time is during nap time or for the 25 minutes that Mickey Mouse is on you need to be efficient in how you choose which tasks to complete.

I try not to write anything in my bottom right quadrant. If it goes onto my list it needs to fit into one of the other 3 spaces. My (and your) time is valuable so there is no room to waste our precious time on things other than what is important.

My next goal for increasing my productivity

I be made a page I can print and put in plastic page protectors. Putting them in page protectors will allow me to use them with dry erase markers. Then I won’t have to recreate the same layout every week.

I will be sure to update once I have used it as a print out. I had planned on get it done before this was posted, but my computer won’t turn on and needs repaired.

What is your favorite way to prioritize your day?

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