Your to-do lists may be endless, but only a few items will add real value to your and other people’s lives. Spending the most productive hours on tasks that yield the highest value will set you apart from 90% of the population.
High-value tasks are often more challenging than shallow tasks. Hence, make it a habit to tackle them first every day. Don’t let your fear of failure or fear of success prevent you from getting started. Such fears can be an indication of the high stakes involved in the task and thus serve as a gauge for how important they are to your life and career.
4-step process can help you fine-tune your priorities:
- Put pen to paper: Start by formulating your goals as clearly and specifically as you can. Subsequently, list everything you will or may have to do to achieve them. Doing so will not only free up your mind. It will also help you break your goal into manageable chunks that you can start tackling immediately, thus eliminating any excuse to procrastinate.
- Find your high-value activities: Among all your daily activities, find out which ones yield the most value by using the ABCDE method.
- A items will directly help you achieve your goals.
- B items have a smaller impact, but you should nevertheless try to complete them after taking care of your A tasks for the day.
- C items are small tasks that are “nice to do” but not crucial to achieving your goals. An example may be answering emails.
- D items are things you can delegate, while;
- E items are things you can eliminate. Still unsure what your high-value activities are? Ask your employer about how you add value, think of the one skill that would help you advance your career the most and home in on which contributions find the most recognition among the people around you. Once you’ve found your high-value skill, keep pursuing it.
- Focus on your high-value activities: From your to-do list, pick the top three activities that will make the biggest difference in your life. Stop spending time on things that won’t.
- Adopt a new routine: Although you can’t control the results of your activities, it is within your power to make the most out of your most productive hours every day. Allocate a few distraction-free hours each day to pursue your most important and challenging tasks in a highly concentrated fashion. Then, spend the remainder of the day completing other, less consequential but necessary tasks.
Give it a try. I’m sure it going to be a massive help in kicking procrastination to the curb.
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