Prioritization and organization are crucial to your to-do list.  It’s important that you only have one list, whether the tasks are personal or for work. These projects and tasks are all things that you need to complete and you should be able to prioritize them all in one place, if you take into consideration the following five things:

Time

Break down your list based on the due dates and the duration of your tasks or projects. If something is due in a week but only takes a day to complete, it may not need to go at the top of your list. If something is due in a week but it’s going to take an entire week to complete, you need to start today and it needs to move to a top priority in your list. Tasks with the shortest time limits will usually hover towards the top of your list.

Importance

If a task or project has a shorter duration or closer due date, but is much less important, it is less of a priority and should go lower on your list. Putting things that are very important higher on your to-do list ensures that you have time to complete them before moving on to less important or optional tasks or projects.

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Consequences

It is important to consider the ramifications of not completing a task or project on time. The tasks with higher consequences are a higher priority and need to be towards the top of your to-do list, while tasks that won’t negatively affect you if they aren’t completed on time should move down the list. If you will be fired from your job for not completing a task or a project by its due date, it would become one of your highest priorities.

Benefits

In the same regard, if something is going to be extremely rewarding and improve your life, it should also be towards the top of your list. If completing a task or project on time at work will get you a raise, for example, it should be a very high priority and move up your list.

Others

Last, but certainly not least, it is important to consider how your to-do list will affect others. If somebody depends on you to complete certain tasks or projects in order to complete their own tasks or projects, these things should move up your list and be considered a high priority.

Remember not to get so caught up in prioritizing your to-do list that it becomes counterproductive. Although prioritizing can be a very valuable time management tool, especially for procrastinators, you don’t want to spend more time prioritizing than you need to and take away from time spent actually accomplishing the items on your list!

By taking these five things into consideration, you should be able to prioritize your to-do list much more effectively and efficiently!