Prioritizing Tasks: What can we do?
A common 'New Year Resolution' that many people make is to try to get more organized. To prioritize what they need to do, and to get the most important things done first.
But, this is no easy task. It can be really easy to think 'today, I'm going to get xxx done. Then yyy. Then zzz'.
But we neglect the facts that 1) things take time to get done; 2) our attention spans don't always allow us to begin a task and complete it in the same time period; and 3) unexpected things can happen which may deter us from completing our 'to-do's'.
So, what CAN we do to prioritize our tasks? Below are some simple tips:
1) Write it out! Making a list is actually one of the best ways to start getting organized. This helps you see what things you need to do, but also helps you gain a better perspective on how much you need to get done. After making a list, it can become easier to move things around the list in terms of priority
2) Think: what needs to get done today? Tomorrow? What can wait until next week? For some things, you are bound by a deadline (i.e. a test to study for, a work project that is due soon, an upcoming event to plan for, etc). But some tasks can wait and aren't 'emergencies'. Again, this will differ from person-to-person, based on our values and beliefs.
3) Don't forget to rest and take breaks. I know you might be thinking: how on earth does this help in organizing our lives and prioritizing what we need to get done? Well, remember that the more stressed and flustered you are, the less likely you are to feel motivated. When we work endlessly and do not give ourselves breaks, we start to get overwhelmed, and often begin to get lazy. Scheduling in breaks, planning fun outings or activities, and taking time 'out' for yourself is essential. When you have learned the skill of balancing work and play, prioritizing tasks will become much, much easier!
And there are so many other strategies, as well. The most important take-away message is that prioritizing is an essential skill to have in life. It is applicable to nearly everything - from work, to home, to relationships, and so forth. And, though we may have many things to get done, part of the task of organization and prioritizing includes making time for ourselves, for our well-being. This alone is no easy task, but is essential nonetheless. I hope 2017 has started off well for you - and even if it has been a patchy and rough beginning, remember that tough times never last!
I hope 2017 brings you success, motivation, strength, love and peace!