Your to-do list is crammed full and you only have so many hours in the day. How can you ever get it all done? For starters, stop trying to figure out how to fit everything in. Instead, focus on the high-priority tasks that matter. Photo by Banalities.
As advice site The Muse explains, many of us often feel like we have to get everything on our list done or else simply by virtue of it being on our list. We'll build our schedules around crossing the most items off our list, while still feeling overwhelmed. Instead, work on the most important things on your list and get comfortable with some less important tasks falling by the wayside:
All of this has given rise to a new school of time management, one concerned with zeroing in on your most important priorities, doing them well, and eliminating everything else — including keeping crazy hours. "The wrongheaded notion that you can manage time and that by managing it you'll get a ton of stuff done, cross everything off your to-do list, and live this superhuman life really just sets people up for disappointment and failure," says Brigid Schulte, the author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. "What you can manage are your priorities and your expectations of what you do in time."
This idea that it's OK if some things don't get done sounds scary to anyone who manages their to-do list regularly. The thought of an item lingering on your list for forever is a living nightmare for some. However, if you're managing your priorities well, then the only tasks you'll ever let hang are the ones you can afford to wait on (or ignore entirely). You'll also find it easier to get things done when you use your best hours on the most important work.