Prioritization is the simplest way to manage everything that needs to get done. Everyone has things they need to do, no matter the level of seniority. Whether you are a top director managing large quantities of resources, or a job seeker searching for work; setting priorities helps you get the job done.
Here are 8 tips for effective prioritization to help you be more productive:
#1 Make a list.
Instead of reacting to things that come up, be proactive. The first step to prioritization is taking time to write what needs to get done. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the tasks. Jotting down your goals makes them concrete and acts as a reminder of what needs to get done. Ground your thoughts!
#2 Set order.
Once you’ve gathered your upcoming tasks, think about ordering them to help you. Sort of like a resume – put the most important things on the top of your priority list and the less urgent towards the bottom. You might also consider ordering them by the size, time constraint, or resources required for each task.
Being organized is key to setting priorities, but another major part is communication. Sharing your priorities with others involved can hold you accountable and keep others in the loop. This is a proactive way to tie up loose ends, get the ball moving, or plan for future agendas.
#4 Adjust accordingly.
It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes priorities change. Whether it’s an obstacle or an opportunity, it’s essential to know how to pivot and fit it into your new schedule.
#5 Follow a routine.
Once you get into a routine, prioritization comes easily. Start by getting familiar with your schedule and the details involved with your tasks. Once everything is complete, crossing it off is a satisfying incentive for you to accomplish another task.
#6 Set a budget or time frame.
When making priorities, try setting measurable budgets and timeframes. When you set restrictions like this, it prevents overspending money and time in one area.
#7 Limit distractions.
Make sure your workspace is in a balanced, distraction-free environment, so you have optimal focus and minimal distractions. Some prefer silence, others music – do what works for you!
#8 Identify what works for you.
Remember, everyone’s different and prioritization only works when it’s done in a way that matches your personality. Identify what you are comfortable with, what motivates you, and what keeps you organized. Remember, a little challenge is a good thing!
What helps you prioritize? Anything can be overwhelming if you think about it all at once. Take each item one step at a time. Be honest with your capabilities and try to figure out where your time is best spent. Taking the time to set your priorities could save you additional time in the future.
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