#301: The 3-Question Task Filter

One of the benefits of reflecting on the week, month or quarter that has just passed is clarity.

Because once the dust settles, you can see things from a different perspective.

I did this recently and realized I’m not doing a very good job with my to-do list. I’ll work my way down the list, assigning tasks to myself or my team, without really thinking about the importance of each task, the priority of each task, and who should complete each one.

Instead, completing the list becomes the end goal.

I’m good at getting things done. And because of that, I’ll take more pride in completing tasks than in being selective and focusing on what matters most.

I’m trying to become more thoughtful and intentional with my to-do list. So I’ve returned to a simple filter I’ve used on and off over the years. This time, I’m determined to use this approach more consistently . . . because, frankly, I have to.

In today’s podcast episode, I share three sets of questions I ask myself as I go through my to-do list to establish priorities and assign responsibility.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

My filter consists of three simple sets of questions.

Set 1: Importance

Is the task important? More specifically, is it tied to one of my key life or business goals for this quarter? Better yet, will it help me get closer to one of those goals?

Set 2: Priorities

I like to think of tasks as A, B or C priority. So, is the task an A or B priority for this week? Can it wait a bit? Or is this something I’m going to keep punting unless I do something about it now?

Set 3: Ownership

Do *I* have to do it? Or can I delegate this to someone else—or even part of it to someone else?

Walk through these questions if you find yourself constantly overbooked and feeling like you NEVER complete your daily list of tasks.

Rather than feeling like you’ve failed yet again, this approach will help you make better decisions and get you on a better track.



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