If you are like most people, you probably struggle with the question: “What should I do first today?”
This is actually a very common problem. As a result, “most people simply spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important” for their business or life, as Stephen Covey once stated.
To overcome this challenge, priority setting is therefore vital as it helps you to make the most of your workday.
Take note that the way you prioritize things affects the success of the whole team and your role as a leader.
What is prioritization you may ask!
Simply put, prioritization is determining the level of importance and urgency of a task.
Priority setting requires measuring the importance of each task and the time it needs to be completed.
Yes, prioritizing is easier said than done.
So to help you prioritize your work better, here are five (5) tips that you might find helpful:
1. LIST DOWN ALL THE TASKS. You have to understand first the scope of what you can and need to do. This step helps you to look at the bigger picture. In listing the tasks, choose tasks that have high impact.
2. IDENTIFY WHICH TASKS ARE URGENT AND WHICH ARE IMPORTANT. Identify the tasks that need immediate attention. And also those that are important for fulfillment of your objectives.
3. HIGHLIGHT THOSE THAT ARE URGENT FIRST. This will provide you a full view of deadlines, making it easier for you to identify which needs to be completed promptly and to execute before the deadline arrives.
4. PRIORITIZE THE TASKS BASED ON URGENCY AND IMPORTANCE. With better clarity, you can NOW create a matrix here for execution as follows:
a. Urgent and Important – immediately do these tasks yourself or delegate to senior team members.
b. Important but not Urgent – get these done preferably during a planned session.
c. Urgent and Unimportant – assign such tasks to someone else in the team.
d. Neither Urgent nor Important – remove these kinds of tasks from your list.
5. BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR PRIORITY. Changes may occur suddenly. This means that priorities may change as well. So always have a back-up plan for the unexpected occurrences in your life or work.
Since you have limited ability to complete tasks, remember that not everything is a priority. So focus on completing only the tasks that need to be done. To do this, you have to be realistic in setting your goals.
The main focus in prioritizing work is to help you choose to complete work that signifies most progress.
With this in mind you will then find it easier to put other “works” to the side and do them later!
How are you doing in this area of priority setting?
Share your thoughts below
Till then be sure to keep improving on your priority setting.
Dr. Gerald Amandu, PhD
Leadership Coach and Business Advisor CEO & Founder, Gerald Amandu Success Academy