Questions Anyone Struggling to Prioritize Should Ask Themselves
Question 1: What to-dos will truly bring me closer to my long-term goals and/or distance me from consequences or setbacks?
Why you ask it: To jar yourself from an automatic work style mindset that tricks you into thinking things are important just because they happen to be on your to-do list. Ask and you shall find your true goals.
Question(s) 2: What benefits does this task come along with? What problems or challenges does it cause? Imagine weighing your answers on a scale to determine which is heaviest.
Why you ask it: To figure out what actions truly come along with a net gain. Doing one thing might produce all kinds of benefits, but if it comes along with even more problems, well…you get the picture. Priorities should be the actions that truly move you forward.
Question 3: Is this thing really more important than something else I’m already working on?
Why you ask it: To save you from shiny object syndrome, or in other words, to save you from interrupting progress toward your existing goals.
Question 4: How do these potential tasks measure up when compared side by side?
Why you ask it: To remind you that you always have more than one thing to do. Evaluating tasks individually goes against all the principles that makes ranking an effective way to get things done. Considering the relative value of all your tasks is what prioritization is all about.