When you live a modern life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and all the stress-inducing tasks we must do. That’s why it is crucial to understand how to plan your tasks properly. Even though it requires a certain level of expertise and task management skills, adding a quick planning session before starting may help you begin the day much more motivated and productive. While it may be tempting to jump right into your tasks and figure things out as you go, you’ll have much better results if you create a plan first.
In this article, I”ll list the most recommended steps you should take before starting any task.
Step 1 – Define your end goal
The first thing you need to do is think of what you hope to achieve with your plan. You need a specific and measurable outcome that you’re seeking to achieve, or you might never actually know if you’ve achieved it.
Your goals are like your ultimate purpose in life. If you are unclear on your life purpose, the other things that follow will be ambiguous also.
Almost all businesses use end goals to understand their overall assignment, which they use to create methods to achieve those goals.
Setting goals before your tasks gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation, and it helps you organize your time and resources.
When you’ve reached a goal, take the time to enjoy the pleasure of achievement and absorb the progress and importance of the goal accomplishment.
Step 2 – List down the steps to be followed
The next step is to break down your goal into smaller steps, no longer than one hour each, and create one to-do list that you think could be ready in the foreseeable future. Each of these steps should be specific and measurable so you’ll be able to tell when you have achieved your goal. If the steps are too large, it might be challenging to decide if the task is complete and if you can move forward to the next step.
How you create your list of tasks is entirely up to you, as long as it is easily updated and accessible to you at all times. This can be as simple as writing down all your tasks on paper or using a more modern approach with mobile apps.
The most important thing is that at the end of your day, you can look at your list and know exactly how much work you completed.
Step 3 – Prioritize tasks and add deadlines
The final step is to determine which tasks are urgent. Think of the achievements that would make you satisfied in the short term. Without prioritizing and adding deadlines to your to do list you would find it exceptionally difficult to follow a schedule, that’s why you want to have a clear vision of the importance and have an actual deadline set. Go over your list and create a priority list of the tasks involved, and set a realistic deadline that you think you might be able to pull. You can always go back and change it as the time unfolds. You may not be able to do everything at once, but at least you will end your day feeling satisfied with having done enough.
Fun fact: “The word priority is originated in the 14th century from the Latin prior meaning FIRST.”
Some people claim that to-do lists just don’t work for them, and most often it happens because they make some common mistakes when trying to implement them. As you practice planning your tasks, you’ll find how it gets easier every time, and hopefully, you’ll find that prioritizing tasks can be quite liberating.