How to Prioritize Tasks (with a To Do List)

Eighty-five percent of American’s admit they don’t know how to prioritize as well as they would like.

How do you feel about the matter?

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have?

Have you ever missed an important deadline? Or forgotten to do something important?

That’s okay, I have a solution for you!

You see, these are symptoms of unpolished time management skills. All you need to do is refine your prioritization skills and start (or return) to efficiently evaluate your tasks with a proper to-do list.

Sounds easy, right?

It’s not too complicated…

BUT LOTS OF PEOPLE TEND TO BE SURPRISED when I mention there’s more than one type of to-do list.

To-do lists are key for efficiency because they list everything that you have to do, the most important tasks at the top, and the least important tasks at the bottom.

Leverage Your Organizational Skills

Your ability to improve your organizational skills and prioritize tasks is a measure of your overall competence. The better the plan you have, even if as simple as creating a to-do list, the easier it is for you to overcome procrastination and get started, to eat that frog and keep going.

One of your top goals at work should be for you to prioritize tasks by using your organizational skills to get the highest possible return on your investment of mental, emotional and physical energy.

Note: If you don’t already use them, I suggest you take a few minutes to read my post about how to set and achieve SMART goals.

The good news is that every minute spent planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution. It only takes about ten or twelve minutes for you to prioritize tasks by planning out your day and create a to-do list. This small investment of time will save you at least two hours (100-120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort throughout the day.

Create Your To-Do List

Put your organizational skills to work and prioritize tasks by always working from a list. When something new comes up, add it to the list before you do it. By knowing how to prioritize tasks, you can increase your productivity and output by 25% or more from the first day that you begin working consistently from a list.

Improve your organizational skills and make out your to-do list the night before, at the end of the workday. Move everything that you have not yet accomplished onto your to-do list for the coming day and then add everything that you have to do the next day.

When you make out your to-do list the evening or the night before, your subconscious mind works on the list all night long while you sleep.

Time Management Tools

Often you will wake up with great ideas and insights that you can prioritize tasks and use to get your job done faster and better than you had initially thought.

The more time you take to make written lists of everything you have to do, in advance, the more effective and efficient you will be.

Learn how to prioritize tasks and get more done in less time and DOWNLOAD MY FREE REPORT: “EAT THAT FROG” HERE. This time management analysis is the same tool I’ve used to consult with thousands of people over the last 30 years, and now it’s my gift to you.

Your 4 Master Lists

There are four different lists that you need to create for different purposes to enhance your organizational skills and manage your time. 1) First, you should create a master list on which you write down everything you can think of that you want to do some time in the future. This is the place where you capture every idea that comes to or every new task or responsibility that comes up. You can then prioritize tasks later. 2) Second, you should have a monthly list that you make up at the end of the month for the month ahead. This may contain items transferred from your master list. 3) Third, you should have a weekly list where you plan your entire week in advance. This is a list that is under construction as you go through the current week. 4) Finally, you transfer items from your monthly and weekly lists onto your daily list. These are the specific activities that you are going to accomplish that day. As you work through the day, tick off the items on your to-do list as you complete them. This activity gives you a visual picture of accomplishment and improves your organizational skills. It generates a feeling of success and forward motion.

Prioritize Tasks For Ultimate Efficiency

When you have a project of any kind, begin using your organizational skills by making a to-do list of every step that you will have to complete to finish the project from beginning to end. Prioritize tasks by organizing the project by priority and sequence. Lay it out in front of you on paper or on a computer so that you can see it. Then go to work on one task at a time. You will be amazed at how much you get done in this way.

Remember that the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, says that 20% of your effort tends to produce 80% of your results, so prioritizing efficiently is a must.

As you work through your lists, you will feel more and more effective and powerful. You will feel more in control of your life. You will be naturally motivated to do even more. You will think better and more creatively and you will get more and better insights that enable you to do your work even faster.

Related: 26 Motivational And Inspirational Quotes About Success

Master Your Time

When you use organizational skills to prioritize tasks and plan each day in advance with a simple to-do list, your day will go by faster and smoother than ever before. You feel more powerful and competent. You eventually become unstoppable. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and you enjoyed it, please share and leave a comment. If you would like to learn more on how to zero in on the critical tasks and organize each day accordingly, download my report EAT THAT FROG 100% FREE by clicking the button below.


How to Prioritize Tasks Efficiently with a To-Do List
Article Name
How to Prioritize Tasks Efficiently with a To-Do List
Brian Tracy explains how to prioritize tasks and the importance of making a to-do list to finish every project from beginning to end.
Publisher Name
Brian Tracy International
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • RD Sohal

    During my three months stay I Canada this Winter, I have most of the books authored by Brin Tracy that changed my attitude towards tasks at hand through Time Management, Eating That Frog, Reinvention, Kiss That Frog……to name a few.
    The ideas, thoughts and guidelines advocated by Brian Tracy are practical and life changing, but in nutshell.

  • Sindy Jeremiya

    Thank you for your information as I am preparing for my interview

  • gokulraj

    asm work… i followed the four steps…. its quite easy nd comfortable… encourage us with some more work in various fields..

  • Nice plan to time management
    Best Regards

  • Thanks I learned a lot from this wonderful site

  • Sergio Rodrigues

    My problem must be similar to the countless ones you have already heard – the difficulty of choose the apropriate tool to write down mi to-do list. I try diferentes kinds os calendars, eletronic tools, etc, and ended up not focusing in any of them. Another problem is confusing tasks and goals not distinguising one and another.

    • Brian Tracy

      You are very welcome. Thank you for commenting and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the blog post. To YOUR success, Brian Tracy

  • time management is key for future success. time management will unlock your productivity

  • Hi Brian, you’ve been a great inspiration to me. I’ve watched your videos on youtube and encouraged my friends to listen to your video on goal setting which I think is one of your best. Thank you so much.

    I wish there are “Tweet” and “Share on Facebook” buttons on each blog post so readers like me can easily share your blog posts. Thank you, Brian.

  • Hello Sir, You are a blessing to the new generation. your legacy will never be forgotten…
    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome tips to us.
    Best Regards

  • Thanks a lot Brian for those amazing tips. Prioritizing my task lists allowed me to literally double my productivity over night.

    In the past, I had long task list and I enjoyed ticking off as many boxes as possible – unfortunately, I focused 90% of my time on those easy tasks that most of the time don’t generate the desired outcome. I other words, I was basically only spinning my wheels without really moving forward.

    Now, I have shorter tasks list, but I always focus on the most important things first. The transition was not easy, because in the past I started my day quickly ticking off 4 or 5 simple tasks. now, I focus on the most important tasks first, and those are also oftentimes the most difficult ones and the ones that are not so much fun, but they provide the really BIG results.

    literally changed
    I really like the tip about prioritizing my task list.

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