How Many Tasks Should You Do In A Day for Maximum Efficiency?


Imagine waking up every day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, but then you look at the long and dreadful list of things you need to get done, and then immediately start feeling overwhelmed. You try your hardest to get everything done, but at the end of the day you still have so many unchecked boxes that leave you feeling so disappointed in yourself. If you’ve ever experienced this, then organizing and simplifying daily tasks is what you need to do.

As a general rule, there should only be three important tasks assigned for one day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will simplify the process and maximize efficiency. These three tasks are the most important and hold the most weight so they must be done.

If you want to know more about organizing your to-do lists to make them more effective and tips on how to complete your tasks then keep on reading.

How Long Should Your To-Do List Be?

If you only have one list to organize everything, it makes sense that your list can look overwhelmingly long. Depending on what you’re using to organize your daily tasks, whether that be digital apps, online tools, or simple paper and pen, it’s better to have different categories of to-do lists rather than one combined one. For example, you would have a work list, household list, grocery list, reminder list, etc., that way you can focus on what’s important at that moment.

The length of your list will depend on your day and your goal, whether you are an employee, someone with a business, or someone that needs to run errands and do chores, your list needs to be ranked from the most urgent and important items to the least. Things that can wait, should wait. The things that you need to get done today are the ones that are scheduled for today. To keep things simple, pick your top three most impactful tasks to do that day and do them.

How Many Tasks Can You Complete From Your To-Do List Everyday?

Your tasks for the day should be set up to where you complete them all. Whichever method you choose to write down your tasks, separate the daily tasks from the master task list. This way, it will be less overwhelming and when you begin your work, you already know exactly what to do.

One of the biggest problems when people write down a list of tasks is knowing which tasks to do first. What happens is you start using brain power to decide what to do and how to plan and organize your day. This can often lead to procrastination because you are already feeling overwhelmed before your day even starts. Good tasks management is organizing and setting up tasks in advance. The day before is a great time because you can evaluate everything you’ve done that day and set up for the next day. That way, you can come into work the next day, have a small list of effective things to do, and get started right away. No more wasting time in the morning and feeling overwhelmed.

Knowing how long it takes to complete each task is also important. If you know a task is going to take hours, you can assign it to a task that doesn’t take as long. Evaluate how much time you have in a day to do the work and assign it appropriately. This may be hard at first if you’re unfamiliar with the tasks, if that’s the case, you can start by setting timers to estimate how long it takes you to work on something. That way you can put time limits the next time you start planning your day.

In short, keep it short. It’s better to assign too little than assign too much. Too little leaves room to add on additional tasks or more time off, while too much can leave you feeling disappointed at the end of the day.

Is Your To-Do List Effective?

What should you think about when organizing and assigning tasks for your day? Quality over quantity. Understanding the weight and importance of a task will put you forward in the right direction rather than tasks that keep you busy and stagnant.

Reflect on your goals constantly, if not daily and always ask yourself if the actions you take everyday are helping you reach these goals. It’s easy and mindless to include in your daily tasks things to check off just to have the satisfaction of checking off a list. For example, “organize inbox” or “call your sister back” are things of less importance to include as your top 3 tasks for the day versus “create a logo” or “start the podcast”. The most effective to-do list hold the most weight and will help you achieve your goals faster.

Assigning more than 3 things on your daily list is still productive, but make sure you complete the more important top 3 things first. For example, “organize inbox” is still a great thing to add to your list, however, add it as the 4th or 5th thing to do after you have completed your top 3.

We only have so much brain power in a day to make decisions. Schedule and take actions on the important ones first. The most important tasks deserves our full and fresh attention as these are the tasks that determine if we reach our goal or not. You will feel way more accomplished at the end of the day by completing one important task that help you achieve your goal than completing five tasks that doesn’t help you.

Tips on How to Complete your Tasks

Now that we have discussed how many tasks and how effective the tasks need to be, here are some tips to complete your tasks.

  • Time block. Once you know approximately how long it takes to complete a task, or you determine how long you want to spend on a certain task, block out a time for it and stick to it. Get rid of all distractions and apply your full attention until time is up.
  • Plan the night before. Starting your day knowing exactly what you’re going to do will make the day go a lot smoother. There will be less procrastination and less analysis paralysis before you even begin. Save your brain power for the actual tasks rather than planning for the tasks in the morning.
  • Most important tasks first. Speaking of brain power, schedule the most important task first and tackle it first. The task that needs the most thinking and attention should be done first thing when you have the freshest mind.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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