The Most Important Tasks

On my previous post, I shared the best method that I use for task reminders. It works like a charm (for me)! To give the benefit of the doubt, I did try to put a reminder on my phone once again and dismissed it (in a hurry), since I was trying to do something else on my phone and lo and behold, I forgot about that task until something deep in my brain triggered that memory hours later! I was kinda sorta frustrated with myself.

I really tried to give my phone a second chance! And I know my most current way of going about it is very anti-tech, even inadequate to some, but it does keep my task list for the week accessible, and therefore, I cross off the items in a very short time.

So today I want to introduce another aspect of tasks and to-do lists management known as MITs, and it stands for Most Important Tasks, which is a term used by Leo Babauta on his book, The Power of Less. I try not to do a lot throughout my week, but I know things will come up. Having my MITs keep me on track, but it hasn’t always been this way. After learning about this concept, and applying it, I can say I’ve been doing a decent job prioritizing my MITs over anything I might have on my plate, so even if I’m getting busy, I don’t stress it, because I’m focused on what matters most and I’ll find the time for it, after all, having time and making time are very different things!

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Your Most Important Tasks will flow from whatever matters most to you. What you focus on may or may not necessarily be something essential or that will add value to your life, so you will need to decide what to keep and what to minimize, what to spend time on and what to ignore.

This is crucial when talking about time allocation; there is no such thing as “I don’t have time for this or that.” If we don’t make time for it, then it’s just not a priority. 

I don’t have to tell you what is most important to you. And even as you read this, you probably have an idea about such things, even though you have been or will put these tasks on the back burner only to see them slip slowly into oblivion as busyness and cares control your schedule, and hence, your life. If living a simple life is the goal, then we must come to the realization sooner or later that a lot of what goes on in our lives is expendable and unnecessary. And yes, the struggle is indeed real, but the decisions you make now will ultimately affect your life down the road.

One of my MITs is a task that I would like to see stick and turn into a daily habit. I’ve done it several times now to the point where I take it off my reminders list and make attempts to incorporate it at a certain time every day. Obviously, I haven’t hit the mark 100% of the time, but it’s something I’m really striving to do, so I know that additional planning might come in handy.

If you’d like to include MITs at some point on your routine, start by picking three MITs at the most, then put it on a list or your phone, or whatever reminder app works for you and just try to do it every day. Once you feel comfortable with that recurrence, they’ll most likely turn into habits and you can slowly add to it, like you’re stacking habits. You should only add more if you’ve already built consistency with the first three or whatever number you decided on; I would choose no more than three MITs at a time.

If your MITs are just something you have to do that day or that week, try spreading it out. Give yourself margin in order to bring them to completion. I would also suggest a timer to keep yourself accountable to that week’s deadline. You can always reward yourself later for the accomplishment. Incentives always work for me!

I will say this: don’t feel rushed to do it all at once and have the patience to start small. We live in a culture where we learn that “more is better” when my experience has been “less is more”, which I know rings true if you’ve been reading more about minimalism and aiming to living a meaningful life with less.

How about you? Do you have a mental list of MITs that you are currently working on or have already turned into habits? Let me know on the comments below, I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers,

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7 thoughts on “The Most Important Tasks

  1. My mental list is excessively long and I definitely dismiss my phone reminders. I’ve actually trained myself to ‘snooze’ or ignore them so the continue to show up until I take care of them. Very annoying!

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  2. Great tips! I use my phone for reminders some of the time, but I usually keep track of everything in my planner. I use a Day Designer, and I love it! At the top of each day it has a spot for me to write in the 3 most important things to do that day. There’s a longer to-do list at the side of the week view. I’m a list maker, and I definitely love checking off the tasks I’ve completed.

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    1. Nice! I’m gonna look into it! I do have a planner right now, but I also forget to check what Ive written down on it, but hopefully ill get better at it and forsake post it notes haha

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