Ever wished each day had more hours because you feel you don’t manage to complete everything you had planned to do? It’s okay, it happens to all of us. Although it might be hard to believe, you don’t really need the days to be longer to achieve all your tasks. What you might need is a bit of organization and easy prioritization strategies. If you’ve asked yourself how you can prioritize your day and how to prioritize tasks, you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered the best prioritization techniques that will help you accomplish your work goals and tasks and help you be more efficient with your work.
Make a General To Do List
One of the most important steps when it comes to time management prioritization is writing down everything that needs to get done. If you’re old fashioned, grab a pen and paper. If you’re more tech oriented, open your favorite tool - anything from niche to-do lists to your basic notes app works. Write down every single task you need to complete and what your goals are no matter how small or big you think they are.
You should also include long-term tasks and goals, from larger aspirations like going to grad school or opening up your first business, to small ones such as taking the trash out or messaging your coworker to check in on that report they need to review. The more you include, the more mental clarity you’ll have to get started. What’s key here is making sure you can have it all visually listed to unload a mental burden from your brain onto a screen or paper.
Evaluate Time Sensitivity and Weight
Within the list you just created there will be some things that are more pressing, some that can wait a few more days and others that are not quite doable in the short term. Evaluate each item in terms of how soon you need to accomplish it (think about deadlines and due dates) and assign a weight for each. You can do this by giving a number value, perhaps adding a “#1” in front of the more urgent tasks, or highlighting in orange the tasks that are less urgent and in yellow the ones that are highly time sensitive. Feel free to set the rules here and decide on them based on what works best for you and your brain. If you’re a numbers person, go with the values, if you’re more of a visual person, go with the highlighting. You can even just write the words “urgent”, “semi urgent” and “not urgent”or any other combination if it will help you digest the information better. It truly comes down to your preferences, and remember you’re in full control here, so don’t stress over it!
Transform Your List to a Prioritized To-Do List
Now that you’ve gone through your list and evaluated how pressing each item is, it’s time to organize your to-do list prioritizing tasks, goals and work activities. If you have your list on paper, create a new list in which you’ll write the most urgent and important tasks first and continue writing the other items in decreasing order. If you have your list on your laptop or phone, move the items by copy and pasting or sorting them into descending order, starting with the most urgent tasks. Here’s where it will all start to look much clearer, as you’ll now know with which tasks to begin.
One highly helpful tip that will allow you to maximize your efficiency and concentration abilities is creating time blocks. When you create a time block, for example from 9 am to 11 am to complete your task #1, you’ll be able to fully focus on that specific task. Rather than working in multiple things at once, try to allocate specific time slots to specific tasks. Our brains work better when we don’t have to think about too many different things at once, so maintaining a flow of concentration on one activity at a time will allow us to be more present in our activities and maximize our productivity. Set up an alarm if you need to. Mute your phone notifications if necessary. But, try to allocate the time within the block to your chosen activity for better results.
Speaking of muting notifications, it’s important to note that when we’re talking about prioritizing tasks, we’re staying as mindful and concentrated as possible. Make sure that when you’re completing each task you’re not being interrupted multiple times. Also, focus your attention one thing at a time and avoid multitasking. Try to find the best times when you know you wont be getting distracted or interrupted. For example, on a Sunday night you can allocate half an hour to focus on creating your prioritized to do list. No music, no phone, no emails - that’s the perfect combination to drill out your list and set up what you need to get started.
When it comes to time management and prioritization it’s important to always keep a positive attitude and realize that you will be able to accomplish your goals and tasks as long as you put in the effort to get organized and focus on one step at a time. If you’re looking for an organized and motivated coworking solution, check out COW-ORK, an excellent coworking option with a number of partners throughout Miami ready to welcome you to their exclusive locations. Find your nearest location and get started today. With an affordable membership of $89 a month, you’ll get access to some of the best coffee shops, restaurants and cafes that are conveniently located.