We all struggle with prioritizing tasks, in fact, it’s one of the #1 things that listeners have mentioned is an issue for them. It’s all well and good if you are able to put yourself in a position to focus and get things done. But how do you decide what exactly to get done? How do you go about prioritizing tasks to ensure you are getting the most important things done each time?
That question is a bit hard to answer without first better understanding why it’s so difficult for us to do.
Let’s say you are working on a big project for work. As a part of the project, you’ve got three different things to do. Your first job is to organize the three things and identify which makes the most sense to work on first.
This is where a nifty part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex comes into the picture. You can think of the prefrontal cortex as the part of the brain that makes you most human.
According to Good Therapy.org the pre-frontal cortex is responsible for:
- Coordinating and adjusting complex behavior
- Impulse control and control and organization of emotional reactions
- Focusing and organizing attention
- Complex planning
- Considering and prioritizing competing and simultaneous information; the ability to ignore external distractions is partially influenced by the prefrontal cortex
In other words, it’s doing a lot to make you into the person that you are on a daily basis. The reason it’s prioritizing tasks can be difficult, and the reason it’s easier to do if done early in the day, is because the same part of the brain that is playing a role in things like planning, personality, and focus, is also involved in differentiating tasks and choosing which to go after first.
To put it simply, it’s pretty easy for this part of the brain to get exhausted.
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