It is common that in a normal day we find an endless number of tasks that we must or want to carry out. We have activities related to work, family, social activities, entertainment, among others. It becomes complicated to be able to attend everything that is presented to us on a day-to-day basis in addition to the overdue tasks that we drag from the previous days.
It becomes even more complicated when we don’t have an agenda or do not prioritize the day's activities to select which are the most important ones and will bring us the best results. To avoid the stress caused by the lack of planning what you must do is attack the tasks as soon as possible.
As you must have heard before, you should do the activities with the highest priority first, and choose which activities are more urgent and which are more important. We will not always be able to do them in the order that we decided, since emergencies arise daily that we must attack immediately, but this will help us overall to be aware of the activities in which we must concentrate to obtain the best results by the end of the day.
It is important to clarify that we should focus on doing a small number of tasks in the day, this means for you not to try to do the 48 things that you have on your to do list. This will only generate more stress and frustration because at the end of the day you will most likely have not achieved it. It is quite logical, if for example we have 8 working hours available and every important activity we do is going to take between 1 and 2 hours, we can’t expect to do 15 activities on that day.
Instead, focus on the most important activities or that will generate the greatest results and if you have free time, move forward with your list in those activities that have not been selected as priorities that day. As we mentioned, it is not about finishing all your overdue tasks in a day by leaving at midnight and without having gone out to eat. It's about getting done as much as possible in your normal schedule and paying attention to other important areas of your life like your family, your health, and other important areas.
Focus on doing the activity that you dislike the most or the one that requires the most effort early in the morning, since this is the time when the brain is most prepared to attack those difficult activities and the fact that you have finished with that burden from the beginning of the day will motivate you to continue completing tasks during the day.
Most people work better visually, so we recommend that each morning at the beginning of the day you make a list of the priorities that you will focus on that day in terms of work and another list of personal tasks you want to achieve, in which you must include activities that apply for that specific day as family, social, sports, entertainment activities, etc.
Remember that in the work part you will put as # 1 the activity that you least like or that represents the greatest effort. Followed by that you will list in order of importance the activities that you will focus on that day. We recommend that you do not have more than 5 tasks and that you have an outstanding list from which you can take additional activities in case you have finished all the activities or that you have an available space between some of them.
In the personal part you can list the things that are important for you to achieve during the day, in your spare time, or once you have left work and have time for yourself. Remember that you must have a balance on both sides so that you achieve success without neglecting yourself in any area. Some examples of this would be:
• Regain contact with an old friend
• Do 30 minutes of exercise
• Make a special dinner with your family
• Attend a social event
We find it important to consider that this list is going to be a guide, but it must be flexible, as we mentioned at the beginning, every day urgent things arise that we will have to attack immediately and others that may wait their turn in your sorting by importance. Do those that are urgent as soon as possible and return to your list of activities. During the day it may be that priorities change and that your tasks move in order, this is perfectly fine, just remember that your goal at the end of the day is to have completed the activities on that list, if for some reason you could not fulfill them, schedule them for the next day and make sure to strive to achieve them this time.
It's your opportunity to put all this into practice, remember that changes in habits take time, try one day at a time and don’t worry if you do not see the results you expected, we are sure you can see a positive change from the first day , but to have a real change you must do this exercise constantly until you master it. We are sure that you will feel very good with your new way of working and that everyone around you will notice the changes in your productivity in a short time.
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Daniel Díaz Guerrero