How to prioritize tasks when everything is important

With the term busyness being the new productiveness, it’s not uncommon for us to feel overwhelmed by our non-ending to-do lists and the sheer volume of tasks that require our immediate action and attention. This “Busyness’ ‘ not only happens during our workdays, but also goes on to spread in our personal lives too; with limited time spent on activities we enjoy or with our family and friends, and more energy rather spent on being busy. But fear not, this can be changed when prioritizing tasks effectively.  Whether it’s deadlines at work, household chores, personal commitments, or social obligations, by implementing prioritizing strategies you can drastically change your time at work and make the most of your time in the office–-and at home. 

Five strategies for prioritizing tasks at work 

  1. Have a list 

Before starting to categorize and allocate your tasks, it’s important to have a clear understanding of all that needs to be done. To give yourself a complete picture of what it is you have to do, write down all tasks even the most mundane ones like scheduling one-on-one meetings should be considered. That way you will have a good understanding of the scoop of what you need to get done. A good action to take is to add your tasks to this list as well like picking up dry cleaning or going grocery shopping, that way you won’t be preoccupied with other tasks as well. 

  1. Understanding what’s important:

After getting a good look at all there is to be done we can move on to the second step: Effective prioritization. Important tasks are those that align with your long-term goals and values. 

Understanding what you are working towards- be it a quarterly achievement, a new branch opening, or even a promotion– helps you identify the impactful tasks for your future outcomes and success. Once you’ve set those apart it can be a good idea to break the larger goals into smaller, more time-framed ones (e.g.: monthly, weekly, or even daily tasks).  

  1. Understanding what’s urgent:

Urgent tasks are the ones that require your immediate attention and efforts and have close deadlines. Including deadlines in your to-do list is an essential step in helping you prioritize which task must be completed promptly and plan according to upcoming deadlines as well. Creating deadlines for your tasks, even when they are not required, smoothes your workflow and ensures you won’t push back on important tasks just because they aren’t time-sensitive. This strategy makes certain to increase productivity and reduce procrastination at work.

  1. Delegate or Delegate:

This strategy is here to help you recognize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Effective delegation is a skill that can significantly improve your productivity and efficiency at work! It can help you free-up time and energy enabling you to focus on high-priority tasks that require your expertise and full attention. Delegating tasks out of your scope of work to teammates or other employees tasks that can be outsourced or assigned to others who are better suited to handle them. 

  1. Eisenhower Matrix:

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a valuable prioritization tool. It involves categorizing tasks into four quadrants: 

  • Urgent and important: These tasks should be done first
  • Important but not urgent: Block off time on your calendar to get this done, without interruption
  • Urgent but unimportant: Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. 
  • Neither urgent or important: Remove from your to-do list

By assessing tasks based on those criteria, you can focus on addressing the most critical and impactful tasks first and you can allocate your time and energy more effectively. This matrix is especially important for entrepreneurs, business owners and people at the high-level management ranks.

In conclusion, the pressure to juggle multiple responsibilities can leave us feeling stressed and frazzled. In such situations, it’s crucial to develop effective strategies for prioritizing tasks and managing our time wisely. So, prioritizing tasks when everything seems important requires a strategic approach and a commitment to managing your time and resources effectively. By identifying urgent vs. important tasks, using tools like the Eisenhower Matrix, and delegating tasks you can regain control of your workload and focus on what truly matters. Remember that prioritization is a skill that can be developed and refined over time, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies until you find what works best for you.

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Tatiana Gabriel

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