Getting everything done is often an impossible task on top of an already long list of incomplete tasks. That’s something I think about a lot as I attempt to better understand myself in order to increase my productivity.

And as I’ve discovered, extra attention and priority should always be given to tasks that will yield the most return.

Applied to schoolwork, the most return would be on papers and tests instead of assignments. So if you’re balancing a paper for one class and assignments for another, it’s in your best interest to prioritize the paper to insure the best quality.

Think of yourself as an investor. You’re more likely to worry about investments in which the return is greater. The tasks on your to-do list should be treated no differently.

Of course, maintaining a balance is still crucial. Spending too much time on a really important task can be just as wasteful as it would be on one of lesser importance.

If the time invested isn’t returning quality work, you might as well take a break or work on a something completely different.

Lastly, prioritizing tasks also goes hand-in-hand with managing time. Get yourself into a routine that fits you and allows you to maximize your time.

For extra credit, read How to Allocate Your Time, and Your Effort from the Harvard Business Review.

Related: Transition into a Productive Day Using a Catalyst

Image: Courtney Dirks