"It doesn't matter if you want to be an artist or an engineer or a scientist - if you're not organized, you're not going to get anything done." -Overheard at Tokyo Academics
Ever have a busy day but end up not accomplishing anything? Ever feel like you're doing a lot of work but not really getting any closer to your goals? Quite a few parents and students have asked about this, so to get everyone else in the loop, I'm writing about a tool we use at Tokyo Academics to focus on the most important things, and in the right priority.
A. Write all your tasks down
Your brain constantly reminds you about the things you have to do ("rehearsal loops"). This takes energy and brainpower. Transfer this mental load onto paper, and you stop having to keep 50 things in your mind distracting you while you're trying to focus on accomplishing something.
B. Prioritize your tasks
Listing the tasks in order of importance already helps quite a bit. Even better than listing things in importance, is evaluating them by urgency (how soon you have to do them). Many of us at TA use a tool to do just that. The Eisenhower matrix helps us by listing our tasks into four quadrants:
Do tasks based on the order of the quadrants: 1, then 2, maybe 3, but almost never 4
Edit: Below, we have an example of this chart filled out by one of our very own students.