How I Decide The Most Important Thing In Any Given Day
On days when I have a clear deadline or urgent task, figuring out the most important task is easy. On other days when I have several things I need to do without a hard deadline, this can become a grey area. However, I've found a simple way to figure this out, borrowed from Tim Ferris. It essentially boils down to the formula: "most important usually=most uncomfortable/most procrastinated upon" with some chance of rejection or conflict.
According to Tim Ferris, the key is to ask oneself, "What's uncomfortable here? What have I procrastinated on for quite a while?" The key is to ensure that this task will substantially move the needle forward towards a successful outcome by asking these additional questions: "If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day? Will moving this forward make all the other to-do's unimportant or easier to knock off later?" My biggest takeaway from this is that prioritization is key, an to do lists should always ensure maximum efficiency (one of my favorite tips from Laura McLellan of The Productive Woman is to not to a task if it doesn't need to be done: i.e. alphabetizing the bookshelf).