Time Management Part 4: Prioritize

This principle of PRIORITIZATION MAY TAKE A FEW ‘blogs” TO COVER. It’s so important—and so hard to do! All of you have so many things on your plates—each day that it’s hard to focus on the top priority projects. I’ll share some proven time management methods for helping you out with this one.

First of all, let me explain an age old time management principle simply called the 6 things.

At the end of each day, write down or place in your “notes” on whatever digital device you use, 6 things you need to do the next day. No more than 6. You may be thinking: “Oh, sure! 6 things! I have to do 600 things. That’s ok. Only write down 6.

I like to do this at the end of my work day: 6 things I need to do for work. And, I do the same exercise before I go to sleep for the personal things I need to do.

Once you have listed the 6 things, then prioritize them: A—must do; B—would like to do; and C—it would be great to get these things done but they are not imperative.

You may have more than one thing listed as A. Then, list them as A-1, A-2. And so on.

When you get to work the next day, focus on A-1. Work on A-1 until you get it done. Then, go on to A-2. Continue in this manner through your list. Now, even if you create the list, prioritize the items on the list, and focus on A-1, you WILL get interrupted. When you do—go with it. Then get back to A-1. Interrupted again. Do what you need to do. Then go back to A-1. And do this until you get it done. Cross it off your list and go to A-2.

You may only get to A-1 in an entire day. Don’t let yourself become frustrated. Redo your list at the end of the day. Read it. Put it away. Go home. Then, when you come into work the next day, read the list and begin.

Massive, dedicated studies on time management have proven that this process will lead the way to getting more done in less time. In addition, if you do this at the end of your work day—and at the end of your entire day before you go to sleep, you will have a deeper sleep, you will awaken more refreshed, and you will have more energy for the new day.

Your subconscious mind continues to work throughout the night and if you have organized your thoughts, your mind will rest. If you have not done the organizing for your brain—your subconscious will try to do this for you. However, fitful sleep may result.

As you faithfully add this simple but valuable process to your life, you will gain much: better use of time, priority tasks will be completed in a timely manner; your sleep will be enhanced; and you will identify things that continually interrupt your work and then you CAN do something about that. You cannot reduce interruptions unless you have identified them.

6 things. Try this. You will be rewarded in the above listed ways—and many others. Time management is an investment you make in yourself, in your work, and in those you love.