We all have priorities, whether they are personal, professional, financial, etc. Understanding how to effectively prioritize can be a game-changer to the way that you accomplish tasks, conduct business, and go through your daily life.
Understanding what your priorities are is the first step in deciding how to organize and efficiently tackle them. The two big things to consider when you are getting started are time and importance. For each task or goal on your list, ask yourself “How urgent is this?” or “What is my timeline for when I need to have this done?”. Second, consider the task’s importance on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. Next, make a list of all the tasks and goals that you have with the due dates and importance ranking listed clearly. From there, you prioritize your to do’s using one of the following four categories:
Category 1: Urgent & Important
These are the tasks and projects that should live at the top of your priorities list because they are both time-sensitive and important. Appointments, required meetings, and deadlines all fall into this category. Anything in the Urgent & Important category should outrank the rest of the items on your task list and receive the most amount of attention possible.
Category 2: Urgent but Less Important
Like Category 1, this group has a time deadline attached to it but holds less overall importance than tasks found in category one. This section could include things like sending emails, doing the laundry, etc. Though these things are slightly less pressing, there is still a sense of urgency associated with checking them off.
Category 3: Less Urgent but Important
Unlike categories 1 and 2, Category 3 is not restricted by time. Things in this category can often fall to the wayside due to this lack of a deadline; however, try to avoid this by keeping categories two and three at similar levels of importance. Understand that if procrastination is your pitfall, tasks in Category 2 might be harder for you to accomplish; whereas if self-motivation is your problem area, then Category 3 should get your extra attention. Things that might fall into category three are strategy-based projects, social media, content planning, etc.
Category 4: Less Important & Less Urgent
It might seem like things in this category should be left off of your time management checklist entirely, but knowing which tasks are at the bottom of your list is ultimately just as important as knowing which ones are at the top. You might put tasks like grocery shopping, networking, etc. in Category 4. These things should still be on your list, but understand they are not worth stressing over.
Once you have your priorities categorized, it is much easier to handle them and start checking them off. For more insights into how to effectively prioritize, consider checking out our Time Management ebook on Amazon - The Ultimate Time Management Guide.
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Author: Camryn Pickworth
As the head VA and owner of The First Pick VA Group I have found such great joy in sharing my experiences and top tips with other freelancers and aspiring VA's. I hope that our blog can service as a great reference for VA's and Clients alike!