Trust me, this is the stepping stone for increasing your productivity. Any self-help book that you study, in one way or other, the writers are trying to get this message through (it’s not the only one, of course). It is the most important habit, and I say so because my whole life shifted when I started practicing this habit.
For the better. And for good.
The habit is made of four steps.
I think I’m already losing you, and you’re wondering if this is going to be a complex process.
Relax, it’s not. Because the four steps are really two:
Step 1,2,3- Write and rank tasks.
Step 4-do the task.
Table Of Contents
The 4 Steps of the Habit of Task Setting:
Here they are in detail:
- You write all of your tasks that you can think of. Write in two columns, one for tasks that you must do (related to career, supporting family, etc) and ones you would love to do (these are activities that would make you happy).
(It will look something like this )
- After they are written, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being least important and 10 being most important for your work/personal life, rank the tasks. If you want a change, you can also colorize the tasks as per your need, like this:If you want, you can also prioritize the ‘Love to Do’ tasks.
- Now pick 2 ‘Must Do’ tasks that are most urgent and 1 ‘Love to Do’ tasks.
- Do the 2 ‘Must Do’ tasks first thing in the morning, & the 1 task that you wanted to do some time in between the day.
But how do you define the urgency of a task? Now that’s a game changing question. Because, since childhood, we are trained to prioritize on assignments/homework. Note one thing: they are not set by you but someone else. So, in order to choose the most urgent task, ask yourself: ‘Which task will bring the most impact in my life in terms of growth?’ Sadly, often the answer will contain the most difficult tasks in the list. But, if you want to be a star, you have to be ready to burn at a high temperature constantly. In other words, you have to go through the pain and struggle.
Repeat this habit daily. If you’re thinking of using your phone to do it, fine. But it’s best to do it using a pen and paper, and here’s why.
Now, it might be difficult to get it done daily. That’s because changing a habit is not easy to do.
Two Days Effectiveness Test of the Method:
But there is a way: and that is to convince yourself that this method is good for you. How can you do it?
- Practice this habit for two days. That’s just 6 tasks.
- Think about your feelings after two regular days when you did not follow this habit.
- Now compare if you are feeling more accomplished AND happy today compared to those last 2 days.
This should be enough. Or, there’s another way:
- Practice this habit for two days
- Then don’t repeat for another two days
- Now look back at the contrast between the days you tried it and the days you didn’t.
As you keep practicing this, you will be able to put in more tasks per day, and get them done. And your life will be in a much better place.
Go at it until you finish the entire list, then make a new one or just add more items. Trust me, you will experience exponential growth.
A little secret: I’ve been trying this for three months now, and so far I have only managed to do this 7 days in a row. Usually after every 3-4 successful days I fail to continue this. And that happens because I can’t believe that I did all this in such a short span of time: ‘Can life really be so productive?’ I literally start to feel high and start lazing around for 1-2 days, and then I get back to listing tasks and prioritizing again. And that’s the truth.
Why this method works?
That can be answered by reading the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.
Don’t want to read it? Don’t have the time?
Well, since I’ve read it, I will explain it (how kind of me) here in my review of the book. [To be updated]
About the timing of this task, best to do this at the same time everyday (preferably an hour before going to bed)
Put in your C&C, and I will also create an FAQ about his habit.
My next goal is to continue this habit for 15 days at a stretch and write the results. What’s yours?
- Make 2 lists with all the tasks you can think of: one is ‘Must Do’ one is ‘Love To-Do’.
- Rank or highlight the most urgent ones and the ones that are not so urgent/important.
- Do 2 of the must dos first thing in the morning. Fit in the love to dos in between.