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One question to help you prioritize

Today’s tip: If there’s a task on your to-do list that you keep bumping, diagnose why.

You know that one thing on your to-do list that’s been there forever? The one you keep on moving from day to day or week to week, until you wonder if you’ll ever actually be able to cross it off?

It’s time to stop wondering. That doesn’t mean you need to do it, explains time-management expert Laura Vanderkam — just that you need to do some light soul-searching about why you haven’t yet. Maybe that task is something vague, and you aren’t actually sure how to get started. If that’s the case, make a game plan, and replace your fuzzy to-do with those more concrete action items. Maybe you’re slotting it in for the wrong time, like planning a complex work memo for a Friday afternoon, in which case you might want to reschedule with a more honest eye toward your mental bandwidth.

Or maybe it’s just really not a priority right now, in which case, it’s okay to let it go. “Throw yourself into your current responsibilities and the things you really are motivated to work on,” Vanderkam writes, “rather than burning brainpower worrying about ones you don’t want.”

📚 More from Forge on reprioritizing:

Why Basic Items on Your To-Do List Are Suddenly Insurmountable
Read more >>

How to Beat Procrastination Like a Stoic Philosopher
Read more >>

Cap Your To-Do List at 3 Things Every Day
Read more >>

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