Stress Relief Tool – Prioritize Tasks

Whether using the author's method or a 100 year old process, prioritizing your tasks can help your stress relief efforts.

If you are an overachiever like me, prioritizing your tasks is a must for stress management. I have a simple process I have used for years that I am going to share, as well as another slightly more methodical process that has been successfully used for over 100 years.

What I do is I write down everything I have on my plate. Then I draw two columns and rate each item by their importance to my career, relationships, health, etc. (high, medium, low) and urgency (also high, medium low). Those that are both high get first priority of my time, those that have one high and one medium get second priority of my time, and those that have two mediums get third priority of my time. Anything with a low rating on both scales can wait. At the end of the day I reprioritize based on what still needs to be done.

The slightly more methodical way is called the Ivy Lee Method: 1) At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks. 2) Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance. 3) When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task. 4) Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day. 5) Repeat this process every working day.1

The reason I use my method is because there are sometimes where you cannot focus only on one project before working on another project, so my method allows for a little more flexibility as your day goes. However, that does not mean you should multitask, as discussed in the “Don’t Multitask” tip included in this book. Whichever method you use, the final act of reprioritizing at the end of the day gives you a sense of completion and stress relief.

 

  1. Clear, J. – This 100-Year-Old To-Do List Hack Still Works Like A Charm

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.

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