I love to read about productivity plans and to play with them in my own routine. However, a lot of them talk about choosing your most important task of the day. When I first read that I thought, “One!? I can’t choose only one!” Then after reading about it multiple times, I decided to start an experiment and to my surprise, it was very helpful. Here are a few questions I ask myself to figure out my most important task of the day.
Are there deadlines coming up?
This is probably the easiest way to pinpoint your most important task. If you have something due tomorrow, do it today. Also, if there is something you’ve been putting off, but it really needs to get done, make it your most important thing. This might be where you stop, but if you have nothing that is imminently due or behind, then you should continue on to the other questions.
What will be the most satisfying to complete?
I use this qualifier more often than not. There are some things you have going on that will just be very satisfying to finish or get caught up on. This is especially true for things you aren’t very keen on doing. Get it out of the way first, then your day will have a satisfying ending.
What will you be disappointed tomorrow?
I try to be nice to tomorrow me and you should, too. If it’s going to be a hassle to finish a project tomorrow, try to get it done today. The worst thing is waking up in the morning and realizing that you have a huge project to complete that you should have worked on the day before.
What do you have time for?
My most open days are Monday and Friday right now. I know that I can stick my larger projects on those days and not feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, Wednesdays are my busiest days currently. I try to be gentle with myself and have simple goals on that day since I know that I won’t have as much time. Always be kind to yourself as much as you can.
Even at the end of these questions, I still sometimes have more than one most important task. I split my tasks into personal and work items and that usually helps me. It also helps to have a hierarchy of importance, so there is a list of 3-5 of my most important tasks in each category. How do you decide which tasks are the most important?