Task Management and Priority Setting by Using Questions

When managing day-to-day tasks, it can be difficult to keep the big picture in mind. It’s tempting and natural to choose between tasks based on their urgency or on how easy they are to do. Yet keeping the big picture in mind is critical in setting priorities and making progress toward your vision and goals.

I’ve recently tried asking myself the following questions when choosing what to do, and I’ve found them helpful in setting priorities and keeping up my motivation:

  • Does this task, activity, or project align with my vision and goals?
  • What one thing can I do today to advance this project or goal?
  • Am I acting like the person I want to be?

With a few variations, these questions can also help you beat information overload. Every day, we face a flood of information through personal interactions, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, blogs, e-mail, video, television, radio, and print. Filtering out unimportant information and focusing on the most important information is key to beating information overload. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with information, try these variations on the questions above:

  • Is this information necessary to work toward my vision or goals?
  • What one piece of information do I need to advance this project or goal?
  • Will this information help me become the person I want to be?

What questions have you found useful in managing your tasks and/or information? Please share them in a comment.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Donna Blevins February 6, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Jane, you are once again right on target. The question that I find most helpful is: What one thing can I do today to advance this project or goal?

    BTW, I followed your networked blog on FB.

    Donna Blevins
    The Poker Mindset Coach

  • Jane Plass February 6, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Thanks, Donna! I’ve found that a really useful question, especially when I have a busy day but want to make at least some progress toward a goal.

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