The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Are 'Most Important Tasks (MITs)'?

A Most Important Task (MIT) is a critical task that will create the most significant results. Every day, create a list of two or three MITs, and focus on getting them done as soon as possible. Keep this list separate from your general to-do list.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Most Important Tasks'

Not all tasks are created equal—some are more important than others.

You only have so much time and energy to get things done each day. Of all of the things that are on your to-do list right now, some of them are really important, and some of them really aren’t important. If you want to make the most of your limited time and energy, it pays to focus on completing the tasks that will make the biggest difference first, before spending your time and energy on anything else.

A “Most Important Task” (MIT) is a critical task that will create the most important results you’re looking to achieve. Everything on your plate is not critically important, so don’t treat everything on your task list equally. By taking a few minutes to identify a few tasks as particularly important, you’ll make it easier to focus on achieving them first.

At the beginning of every day, create a list of 2-3 MITs, then focus on getting them done as quickly as possible. Keep this list separate from your general to-do list or task tracking system. I typically use a 3x5 index card or David Seah’s “Emergent Task Planner,” a free downloadable PDF that makes it easy to plan your day.

When creating your list of MITs, it’s useful to ask a Self-Elicitation question: “What are the most 2-3 important things that I need to do today? What are the things that—if I got them done today—would make a huge difference?” Write only those tasks on your MIT list, then try to get them done first thing in the morning.

Combining this technique with Parkinson’s Law by setting an artificial deadline is extremely effective. If you set a goal to have all of your MITs done by 10:00am, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can complete the day’s most important tasks.

Having a list of 2-3 MITs helps you maintain a Monoideal state by giving you permission to say no to interruptions that aren’t as important. If you’re working on your MIT’s and someone calls you, it’s easier to tell them “I’m working under deadline — I’ll get back with you later.” By definition, everything that’s not an MIT is less important, so it’s easier to say no to non-critical interruptions.

Achieve your MITs as quickly as possible, and then you’ll have the rest of the day to handle anything else that comes up.

Questions About 'Most Important Tasks (MITs)'


"You've got to think about the big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction."

Alvin Toffler, technology researcher and futurist


From Chapter 7:

Working With Yourself


https://personalmba.com/most-important-tasks/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

More about Josh Kaufman →