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Forbes has picked up Senior GTD Coach and Presenter Kelly Forrister’s article on how to tackle a crazy to-do list, originally posted on The Daily Muse.
Crazy To-Do List? Here’s What to Tackle First
Many people try to tackle their mountain of personal tasks by sorting them by priority, and starting at the top. Seems logical—but they’ve actually got it backward. In reality, before you think about priorities, there are three factors you need to consider, because they each actually limit your choices about what you should (and even can) do next.
Limitation #1: Context
If you’re not in the right place, don’t have the right tool, or are not in front of the right person required to take an action, you can’t take that action.
Limitation #2: Time Available
The second factor that comes into play is how much time you have. If you’ve got a big project to work on, but you need to bounce to your next meeting or pick up your kids in 10 minutes, it’s probably not a good use of your effort to start it.
Limitation #3: Resources
The third factor to consider is what your energy is like. I don’t know about you, but Friday afternoon after a long, busy workweek is not the time to dive into anything that will take a lot of mental bandwidth. Instead, I make choices that match what my mental and physical energy is like. Not to say there aren’t times I need to just “buck up” and get in there anyway, but I like to be conscious about what I’m choosing and match that to when I think I’ll bring my best self, whenever I can.