I am sure that most of you have heard that it is important to prioritize and estimate.
There are several reasons that prioritizing and estimating is a good idea:
- When you prioritize your tasks, you put yourself into position to work on the most important tasks first.
- When you prioritize your tasks, you might realize that some tasks are not important at all (and can thus remove them from your list).
- When you estimate, you give yourself a chance to make a reality-check whether your plans are realistic. Do you have enough time to do the tasks that you plan to do?
But there is also another potential benefit if you use these techniques.
When you prioritize and estimate and use the results to remove everything from your to do-list that is either not important or that you don’t have time to do today, you will often realize that you achieve much more and that you will be able to complete more of the remaining tasks.
Why is this?
There are a few reasons:
- Having fewer items on your to do-list lets you focus on the remaining tasks.
- Having fewer items on your to do-list also means that you’re less likely to be overwhelmed by the number of tasks.
- When you have a realistic amount of work on your plate, you’re more likely to keep up your energy and motivation.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other reasons that I recommend almost all my clients to cut down on the number of items on their to daily do-list (and that I recommend that they prioritize and estimate when doing so).
I am also taking my own medicine!
For a very long time, I’ve had a tendency to put way too many items on my to do-lists. But I’m currently trying to break this habit.
There are still days where my to do-list is too long and too unrealistic and too overwhelming. But I’m having more and more days where I have a realistic, prioritized, and estimated to do-list. And on those days, it’s clear to me that I consistently achieve more than I otherwise would – and after such a day, I’m feeling less tired and more satisfied with myself.
So it’s definitely worth a try if you’ve never tried this!
PS: There are many other tricks and habits that can help you get an efficient to do-list. I plan to get back to this topic in future blog posts.