Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

by - October 09, 2021

 Does prioritizing your to-do list sound kind of tricky or daunting? Yeah, I understand that! You might think it's easier to just create the to-do list without prioritizing it or to not create a to-do list at all. I mean, you barely have time to create your to-do list so you can save time by not prioritizing it, right? Wrong. By creating your to-do list the right way, and prioritizing it, you'll be able to save time and be more productive! Today, I'll be sharing tips you can use to prioritize your to-do list so you can smash your daily goals!

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

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Updated for 2024

By prioritizing your to-do list you can fully streamline your day to help you be more productive. You won't have to complete a task you need to do, and then try to remember what the next thing on your to-do list is. You will be able to do a task on your to-do list, and then smoothly transition into the next task on your to-do list.

It can help if you already have some routines. Routines will definitely help you save time! Check out the posts below, if you want some help creating your daily routines.

Let's get into how you can easily prioritize your to-do list!

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

First, before you can prioritize your to-do list, you need to figure out what format you want to use for your to-do list.

Are you a big fan of paper? Or do you prefer digital?

Do you already have a planner? Or do you like using sticky notes?

1. Paper or Digital

The first step is deciding if you prefer paper or digital planning. Mostly, it will come down to convenience, and preference.

I prefer paper, and I find having a to-do list on my phone or laptop too distracting. If you don't know what format you like better, you can test each one out for a few days so you can see for yourself which one works best with your lifestyle.

2. Monthly, Weekly, or Daily

Some people will use multiple to-do lists to keep themselves organized. This has a number of pros to it because you can more clearly see what tasks you need to complete in a certain time period, and you won't have to be overwhelmed by having all of your tasks thrown together in a jumble. No one likes that!

I use to use monthly, and daily to-do lists, but now I use a running master to-do list and a weekly to-do list using the Alastair method. (The Alastair method is amazing, and I can't recommend it enough. If you are looking for a new weekly planning method, then check it out!)

Once you have picked your format, we can get into the methods you can use to prioritize your to-do list.

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

7 Different Ways to Prioritize Your To-Do List

1. Hardest to Easiest or Easiest to Hardest

Some people want to do their hardest task right in the morning, and this makes sense for good reason. Once you get your hardest task out of the way you will have more time to enjoy your day, and you won't be trying to do your hardest task when you are tired at the end of the day.

The only downside to this is that you might procrastinate getting out of bed because you don't want to have to do that hard task! In this case, you have another option, which is to do your tasks easiest to hardest.

The longer you put the task off though, the more you will dread doing it, so if you don't want to do your hardest task first thing, I would recommend doing one or two quick easy tasks before you do your hard task.

2. Most-Time Consuming to Least Time Consuming or Least Time Consuming to Most Time Consuming

I love checking items off my to-do list, and so it goes without saying that I don't like long tasks. These tasks are generally the hardest ones to do too!

Going along with the first method, it's probably a good idea to put your most time-consuming tasks first, or you can break up your time-consuming tasks into smaller chunks so the task doesn't look so daunting.

By the way, if you have any problems with procrastination as it seems 99.9% of us do lol, I have some tips for you in the post below.

3. The Eisenhower Method

I haven't tried the Eisenhower method (yet), but from what I've read, it seems like a wonderful way to get your priorities straight. Literally!

For the Eisenhower method, all you need is four boxes in a two-by-two square, and you'll be writing down your tasks in these boxes.

On top of one of the columns you'll write "urgent" and on top of the other column you'll write "not urgent". Next to one row, you'll write "important" and next to the other row you will write "not important. Now you can fill in all of the tasks you need to do.

I'm going to be testing out the Eisenhower method in my bullet journal and I'll be writing a full post on what I think about it pretty soon, but for now, you can find more information about the Eisenhower method in this blog post.

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

4. Hard Task, Easy Task or Short Task, Long Task

What is the purpose of this? To give yourself a break, without giving yourself a break. Yeah, it's a little bit sneaky! Breaks are very important for productivity. I've emphasized this point many times over the years I've been blogging and I'm sure you know that breaks are important, but what about when you don't have time for a break? What about those days when you have so much on your plate that you can't sit down and take a break?

That is where this method comes into play. Organize your to-do list so you can do a hard task, then an easy task, and then a hard task again. This way you are getting a break without taking a break.

Another way to use this method is to do activities that will use different parts of your body. Sounds kinda weird, I know, but you'll get it in a second.

For example, this would be washing the dishes and then writing an email for work. Exercising, and then writing a report for school. You would switch back and forth between tasks that require your brain and tasks that don't.

5. Batching Tasks

Scan your to-do list and see if there are any similar tasks that you can batch together so you can save time. This might be doing all of your dishes at night before you go to bed, or doing all of your homework for school at once.

Generally, I'm not a fan of batching tasks because it makes the task larger so I procrastinate more. It's easier for me to complete the smaller task, rather than doing all of them together. But with that being said, try out this method if you haven't already to see what works for you!

6. Time-Blocking

You might think time-blocking is too rigid, but this method is probably different from the time-blocking you are thinking of. You don't have to block in every hour of your day with this method. All you have to do is put your to-do list in chronological order of what you need to get done that day.

I'm a big fan of doing this! Once I complete a task, I already know what I am going to be doing next. This makes it easy for me to transition from task to task quickly and efficiently without having to read my whole to-do list.

If you want, you can figure out what you are going to do every hour, but that is not required for this method!

7. By Deadline

Lastly, you can organize your to-do list by deadlines. Everything with a closer deadline goes at the top, and everything that has distant deadlines can be done later.

Currently, for my weekly to-do list, I have everything that I need to do multiple times including habits on one side, and on the other side of the layout I have tasks with no deadline, and tasks I need to do once.

This way, at a glance, I can see what I need to do for the day, and I can see a whole list of tasks that I can do if I have "extra" time.

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

Figuring out the best way to prioritize your to-do list will take a while. Test out each of these methods, and see which one works best for you. It might be a mix of a couple of these methods or it might be a new method!

Remember to switch things up too! After a while, it can be a little boring to have the same to-do list day after day. Switching up how you complete your to-do list can keep things fun! Or if not fun (because sometimes day-to-day tasks are super boring), at least not monotone!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you give the ones below a read.

Thank you for reading this post! Have a happy and productive week! How do you prioritize your to-do list?
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Prioritize Your To-Do List With These Easy Tips

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