The art of prioritization is a skill that’s a valuable asset for any employee, whether they are corporate, freelance or self-employed. Even in our school days, we had a light preview of what work life is going to be like: you have 3 tests next week – which one are you studying for first and how much?
Multiply this feeling by a hundred and you have the good, old stress of how to prioritize tasks or manage time tracking.
Below, there are top winning tips on task and time management that you can use to release some of the pressure you’re feeling next time you have dozens of tasks.
Write Down the Complete List of Tasks 🔠
You simply have to start by writing everything down. If you let your avalanche of tasks float around freely in your head, the stress and the confusion will just continue to build up. As soon as you write down your tasks, you will instantly feel relief and see that it’s not as scary as it was in your head.
A vast majority of people (83%) prefer hand-written to-do lists, mostly because they enable the 'oh-so-satisfying' feeling of being able to put a tick ✔on a task once you’re finished.
Assign Priority Values to Each Task 🔝
Now it’s time to actually go to the next level and determine which tasks are your priority, and which are less so. When all of the tasks on your list are important, consider some of the following factors:
- Which tasks are under the tightest deadline?
- Are there any tasks that you can push at least till tomorrow?
- How much is the value of each task?
Experts recommend that you look at the value of each task as the benefits you will get when you finish the task. This will make it more likely that you actually order your priorities correctly.
Break Down Big Tasks into Smaller Tasks 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣
Productivity books always emphasize the importance of not setting goals that are too big. In terms of your to-do list, this means not adding major tasks that will need massive effort to finish. Rather, break a big task down into its atoms – smallest possible tasks that comprise the finish.
Use the power of atomic habits and marginal improvements to achieve a lot through small actions. When you separate a huge, daunting task into a bunch of smaller ones, it will be much easier to tackle.
Delegate what You Can ⏭
You shouldn't be afraid or hesitant to delegate some of the work that's setting you back, but could be easily done by someone else. When it comes to priorities management, you also have to recognize which tasks demand your specific set of skills and expertise,and which can be delegated.
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Use Organization and Planning Apps 🔛
Unlike your ancestors, you have a huge edge when it comes to work and productivity – technology! Not only does it allow us to automate mundane tasks that do not require creativity or complex skills, but it allows us to track the very process of work.
By setting goals, prioritizing tasks and checking them off in an app, you will gain great insight into your working habits and effectiveness. It’s also a great way to build a habit of creating to-do lists and cultivate it.
Apps and tools for productivity, work planning and time management can help you create dynamic and interactive to-do lists, track the time it takes you to finish each task, mark priority tasks in order and much more.
Allocate a Portion of Time for Each Task 🕐🕑
The success of your to-do list will depend directly on your time management skills. Therefore, it’s not only important to know how to prioritize correctly, but you will also need to have an idea of how long each task should take.
Underestimating the time that it takes to finish a task is obviously the most dangerous trap in organizing and prioritizing, but overestimating it can do damage, too. Compare your tasks to your previous experiences, distractions and break times you expect and possible roadblocks.
The more accurate you are, the easier you will start going over from one task to another. One of the most effective ways to cope with work time calculation issues is to apply a reliable time tracker.
Fortunately, with the market offering a variety of time tracking software, you can read their characteristics and make your choice to land on the tool tailored to your needs at best.
Switch Between Tasks 🔀
When you have multiple important tasks at hand and you decide to finish them one-by-one, for some people, this can be a counter-effective approach. If you’re one of those people who prefer multitasking and switching their attention from one thing to another, you can try that with your task list, too.
Once you start feeling fatigued with the task, move on to the next one until you get ready to go back to your initial task. People usually step away from tasks by taking a “break”, but this break is usually anything but relaxing if your tasks are still in the back of your mind.
If someone tells you prioritization is easy, it just means that they haven't had the wonderful chance to be swamped in several tasks of equal importance yet. Don't worry, the stress and confusion you are feeling are normal, you just need to have a plan in motion to tackle them.
Start with a basic to-do list and go from there – everything gets easier once it’s black on white.
About the Author
Nicole Garisson is a professional writer cooperating with some of the best essay writing websites such as GrabMyEssay. She's currently attending a university course in Digital Marketing where she's expanding her knowledge on social media and content writing.