It’s not a race to complete the most tasks.

If you have too much to do, that means you have more tasks than time. And because time is limited, the only way out is to change how you think about your task list.

If you have too many tasks, you haven’t yet decided which tasks are important and which are less important. Until you rank tasks by importance, you’ll think you have too many.

When you have more tasks than you can handle, you don’t. You can handle what you can handle. No problem there. What you have are expectations that are out of line with the reality of what one person can get done in a day. What you can get done is what you can get done. Then end. The thing to understand about task lists is they don’t give a damn about work content. They are perfectly happy to get longer when new tasks are added, regardless of your capacity to get them done. That’s just how it goes with task lists.  Why do you think it’s okay to judge yourself negatively for a growing task list?

Just because a task is on a task list doesn’t mean it must get done.  A task list is just a tool to keep track of tasks, nothing more. A task list helps you assess which tasks are most important so you can work on the right one until it’s time to go home.

Here are some tips on how to handle your tasks.

Identify your top three most important tasks and work on the most important one until it’s complete.

When the most important task is complete, move each task one step closer to the top and work on the most important one until it’s complete.

If you’re not willing to finish a task, don’t start it. (Think switching cost.)

Don’t start a task before finishing one. (No partial for a half-done task.)

The fastest way to complete a task is to simply remove it from the list. (Full credit for deleting a task of low importance.)

Complete the tasks you can complete and leave the rest. (And no self-judgment or guilt.)

It’s not about completing the most tasks. It’s about completing the most important ones.

Image credit — kosmolaut

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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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