Not all tasks are equally important, and in order to focus on the essentials, it is worth sorting them when listing them. Mike Vardi, author, speaker, and founder of the Productivityist project, explained how to categorize tasks.
- Depending on the energy consumption
Identify three groups of tasks: high, medium, and low mental energy costs. Then categorize all cases into these categories. This approach will help you get ahead in your work even when you cannot take on difficult tasks. But he demands honesty. If you are cheerful and energetic, take on high-energy tasks, and do not fool yourself with simple questions.
The upside is that even if you don’t feel well, you will get ahead by completing low-cost tasks. Even small steps help you move forward. And when you cope with easy things, you may have the energy for big ones.
- Depending on the lead time
This approach comes in handy when you need to manage tasks at different times of the day. This is especially useful if you work in your main job and start building your own business at the same time.
For example, you might need to check your mail more than once a day. Then it is ineffective to add the Check Messages task to the list. It will be more convenient to split the day into three parts and check the morning, afternoon, and evening mail. This has an additional plus – you will not look too often in your inbox and be distracted from other things.
If you don’t know what to do during the day, just look at the to-do list for that time frame.
- Depending on the priority
According to the expert, all cases are divided into four categories:
- urgent important;
- non-urgent important;
- unimportant but urgent;
- unimportant and non-urgent.
If you distribute tasks into these categories, you immediately see what needs to be done now, what – later, and what – never. This approach will help you not to forget about important matters, which sometimes happens when they are written interspersed with the rest.
- Depending on the scope
The item “Wash the dishes” in the to-do list will only bother you. Try to divide tasks into areas: work/personal. This is especially important for those who work remotely or are freelancing. One list, which includes both work and household chores, only distracts and hinders productivity.
Naturally, you can combine all four approaches. Use them the way you like. The key is to make your to-do list more meaningful.