5 Practical Steps That Will Help Prioritize Your Work
How to Ensure You Get the Right Things Done and Meet Your Deadlines
753-5 Practical Steps That Will Help Prioritize Your Work
listen to 753-5 Practical Steps That Will Help Prioritize Your Work
Your ability to prioritize your work will ensure you focus on the right things and accomplish what you want.
Every day, you have many things competing for your attention. Unless you have a system to evaluate what to give your attention to, you may do things that are not your highest priorities.
What is the Purpose of Prioritizing Your Work?
When you prioritize your work, the benefits include:
- You will know in advance what you should do.
- You will not waste mental energy figuring out what to work on.
- You will do what’s most important and will give you the biggest return for your effort.
- You will make informed decisions.
- You will know what not to do.
What Can Happen if You Do Not Prioritize Your Work?
If you do not prioritize your work, the consequences include:
- You will work on the wrong things.
- You will slow your progress, which can delay what you want to complete.
- You will affect other people’s schedules or deadlines.
- You will get distracted easily.
- You will not be as productive as you can be.
The better you can prioritize your work, the greater the chances you will achieve what you want and meet your deadlines.
5 Steps You Can Take to Prioritize Your Work
If you want to get the right things done, you must have a system to figure what to do and when to do it.
Here are five steps you can take to prioritize your work, so you manage your workload better and accomplish the things you want.
- Capture all your tasks on a master list. The starting point is to get everything you need to do out of your head. It does not matter how big or small a task is. Your objective is to have all your tasks identified, which will then help you define what to do next.
- Categorize or label your tasks. Some tasks may be project-related, and some may be chores or errands. If you give your tasks a label, you will have a better picture of what you have going on.
- Assess the importance or relevance of each task. Not all your tasks will have the same importance or urgency. Sometimes, you may have special projects or events that require more time and attention.
It’s valuable to know which tasks have a high lifetime value and which ones are low-valued activities. Rank them according to importance and when you need to do them. This is also an opportunity to eliminate tasks or delegate them.
- Schedule tasks based on time available and deadlines. When you have a clearer picture of what to do and when, schedule them in your calendar. If your tasks are not scheduled, you may do what you feel like rather than doing what’s necessary. Your schedule defines what to focus on daily.
- Review your progress and revise. Priorities can change. You won’t know what to change if you don’t review what’s working and what’s not. The key is to remain flexible and adapt as needed.
Having a system to prioritize your work is better than not having one. When you consistently prioritize your work, you will focus on the right things and meet your deadlines.
That means you will better manage your energy and activities, and feel good about the progress you make each day.
Action Step: Review your system for prioritizing your work. If you don’t have one, apply these ideas to prioritize your work. If you have a system, assess how you can improve, then change what’s not working as well as it could.
Question: What are other practical methods that will help prioritize your work?