One of the best ways to stay productive and on top of your to-do list is to set aside some time for a thorough review of everything that needs to be done. When you have a long to-do list, it’s easy to scroll through and knock off any tasks that can be completed quickly; however, you risk forgetting about the bigger picture. What’s most time-sensitive? What needs to be started in advance in order to meet a future deadline? Are any of my clients or co-workers waiting for something from me? What long-term goal will never be reached if I don’t start taking action soon?
A great image to keep in mind while performing this exercise is how to maximize the contents of a mason jar when you have big rocks, small pebbles, sand and water to work with. The key, of course, is the order of inserting those elements, and the same concept applies to prioritizing the items on your to-do list. Always return to the big picture and ensure that you’re working on the activities that will actually get you closer to those big goals.
A recent article published on the FastCompany blog suggests setting aside time each week to review your to-do list and plan for the coming week. Starting your week off with a prioritized list and a clear picture of everything that needs to be done can save you a lot of time (and also prevent you from missing opportunities and important deadlines). This article has a lot of great suggestions and presents a compelling case for why we should all do a weekly review. Give it a read and see what you think.
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