Four Ways to Tackle Your Top Tasks

Tackle Tough Tasks

This is a guest post by Kelly Smith, a self proclaimed technology addict at CourseFinder,  a tool helping people find and compare Australian online courses.  There she combines her huge interest in new tech solutions and leadership trends with her love for writing.

When you’re bombarded with a list of things to do that looks more like an epic novel, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed before you’ve even started. Starting can feel impossible when you have no idea where to do it.

You aren’t going to get very far if you’re lost in the labyrinth of helplessness. The first step is to get yourself organized with a to-do list, and the second step is to determine the best way to tackle all of your important tasks.

Getting the Important Things Done

Here are 4 Ways to Tackle Your Tops Tasks:

  1. Determine priorities first.  Certainly, some things are more important than others. The attic might be in desperate need of a deep cleaning, but the bills have to be paid right now. Consider the things that have time limits, and think about tasks that need to be completed before you can move on to other tasks. All of them may be important, but some of them need to be done immediately. You’ll be able to focus your time better if you handle the things that need to be done on a time limit before you start the things with more flexible timelines.
  2. Identify how long tasks will take.  This is another way to segment your list to make sure your priorities are, quite literally, in order. Among what you’ve classified as the most important, you need to divide things down even further. If two tasks both need to be done within a certain timeframe, you’ll want to prioritize the one you have one day to do above the one you have one week to do. You’ll be able to tick them off before the hourglass runs out, keeping you from feeling too overwhelmed.
  3. Get the hardest tasks out-of-the-way first. Now that you’ve placed all of your tasks into several tiers, you’ll want to accomplish them according to how much effort is required to complete them. When we have a lot to do, we have a tendency to push the big stuff away for later, and that’s a huge problem. You’ll want to accomplish the Herculean tasks first, while you still have the energy. Smaller things, when combined, will equal the same amount of effort. If you only have enough time to do a few things in one day, get rid of the big ones and wind down with the small ones. You’ll find it helps prevent fatigue.
  4. Don’t try to be Superman. Nothing will put an end to your productivity faster than thinking you can take on the world by multitasking and overextending yourself. Multitasking disrupts your attention, making your work more prone to errors. If you try to cram everything into one day, you’ll get completely burnt out before you have an opportunity to get through everything. You need to be flexible enough to know when to change your plans, and what can wait until the next day.

Plan Your Path

Once you have a clear plan, it’s easier to stop and start your progress when something comes up. After all, you’ll need to eat and sleep eventually. Being hard on yourself only makes it more difficult to reach a successful outcome, so don’t forget to breathe once in a while. Even if it takes you a week to cross everything off your list, it’s easier to move forward knowing what path you intend to take.

Question: How do you tackle top tasks when your todo list is overwhelming? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

3 thoughts on “Four Ways to Tackle Your Top Tasks

  1. Seth Godin says, “as long as we do the important things, urgent things don’t show up often”.in his blog post –

    So true.

    Brilliant post Kelly. Doing the difficult task at the beginning ensures a big chunk is gulped down. Organizing the to-do list in a manner where we do urgent ones then important ones and then rest is the best way.

    It’s tough for many, though it’s true we ain’t Superman/Superwoman…

    Doing the above exercise daily will help in our productivity in the long run.

    Stay awesome. 🙂

  2. I agree with getting your hardest tasks out of the way first, but given that these are the most important ones. However, there is most likely a high correlation between difficulty and importance, so it is very likely they are one in the same in most cases.

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