Focus on the time sensitive.

The list of things we think we should do can be overwhelming. Big projects, small chores, obligations, desired activities—they all seem to be waiting for us to take action. We can feel confused about where to start.

When we’re unsure where to begin, we can focus on issues that have near-term deadlines or urgency. In order of drop-dead date, we can review our items. What is the upside of handling a particular task timely? What is the downside if we complete it late or simply don’t do it at all? We’ll want to keep in mind that fun and creativity also should have some priority each day. This evaluation can help us get start on the most important current items.

Today’s message reminds me that I don’t have to do it all. If I take care of the most pressing item or two, that could be enough for today. I can repeat the evaluation process tomorrow, knowing I will keep on top of the most urgent issues ongoing. By limiting my focus to what most need attention, I keep myself calmer and more effective.

How about you? Do you triage your to-do list?