If you're a leader, then you're always going to have more to do than you can possibly accomplish in a single day. That makes learning how to prioritize one of your most important skills. In the video above, we look at a trio of different methods for organizing the time honored task list, including a mix of high tech and low tech options. For those who prefer text over video, here are the highlights:
1. Use a personal whiteboard
Get a small whiteboard. For example, one about the size of a sheet of paper. At the beginning of each day, list out the most important things you need to accomplish for the day. Each time you accomplish one, erase it from the list—until the whiteboard is empty. If there are any left at the end of the day, leave them, and then put them at the top the list the next day. You can accomplish the same thing with a journal. Just make a new list on a clean page each day.
2. Use list software like Evernote
You can do a similar process using note software like Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Apple Notes, and Google Keep. Make a note called TODAY and use that as your digital whiteboard where you make your list of top priorities every morning, delete them as you accomplish them, and move anything you didn't accomplish at the end of the day to the top of the list.
3. Use task software like Todoist
If you want to get high tech about it, then the best option is to use a service like Todoist that has a web interface, desktop clients for Mac and Windows, and mobile apps for Android and iPhone. You can do the same thing in Todoist where you set your top priorities every morning, but if there are things you don't finish then Todoist will automatically carry them over to the next day. The ability to have tasks follow you to multiple devices and send you alerts at specific times can make this digital solution a big time saver. But, it's also easier to tuck away and not look at it.
Taking just five minutes at the beginning of each day to make a list of the things you want to accomplish for the day can make a huge difference. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.
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Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.