Adopt the 4-D method to make your to-do list more manageable and to ensure that you are focusing on the right tasks.
Assign each item on your to-do list one of these four categories:
1. Do it. Only you have the skills, knowledge or authority to complete the task.
2. Delegate it. You have the ability to do the task, but you should spend your time on higher priority work or assignments better suited for your skill set and pay grade. Pick an employee who can take over the task.
3. Defer it. Park tasks that don’t have definitive deadlines or that you can’t begin working on yet. That way you can stay focused on your most urgent to-dos.
4. Dump it. Assignments that don’t have to be done at all because you have found a better process or they prove to be a waste of time can simply be removed altogether.
— Adapted from “5 Tips for Getting the Most Important Things Done Every Day,” Chris Ruisi, Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com.