5 Tips for Prioritising What You Have to Do

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You know you have to exercise and take care of your health, but you also know that you have to pick up the kids, finish tomorrow’s presentation, and a whole list of other “important” things. Your health is important, but so is the other things on your must do list. If you can identify with this dilemma, the question now is, how can you know what’s important? In addition, what can you do to prevent your important commitments from being put on the back burner?

Many of you often feel that you don’t have enough time to get everything done. This causes you to neglect or forget certain things that you need to do. With proper goal setting, you will be able to prioritize things properly, so that you can finish the important things to be done. Prioritising won’t get everything on your day’s agenda completed; it just means that you are deciding which of the items on your calendar needs your attention first.

Tips to Get You Going

Tip #1 – Do the most important first- no matter how difficult it is

When something is urgent, it sometimes oversteps the most important things. Don’t let this happen. You need to learn to decline certain things, especially when it won’t contribute to your goals in life. For instance, you need to start saying no to your officemate who keeps asking for your help a day before the deadline. You won’t get any credit for doing his work, so you shouldn’t worry about his tasks. You also have other things to do apart from work, so make sure to remove unnecessary tasks from your day.

 Tip #2 –Get organized

If you are organised, you will definitely be able to accomplish more tasks. If everything around you, including your thoughts, is cluttered, then your output will be cluttered as well. Make a list for goal setting, carry a calendar, and clean any clutter in your workspace. Allot 10 to 15 minutes of your time, before sleeping to setting tomorrow’s task, then review everything you’ve written the next morning so you’ll know what to expect for that day. This will also give you an idea of how much work needs to be done, so you won’t sit around wasting time on your computer.

Tip #3- Filter and categorize your tasks

Even after organizing your plans for tomorrow, I’m sure you’ll still have a lot on your plate. Filter your tasks to sift out the nonsensical things that could be moved to another date. After that, I suggest categorizing the tasks further into three parts: priority, personal tasks and chores. Priority tasks could include anything, as long as those tasks are VERY important and have to be completed that day. Limit your priority tasks into 3 per day, as this will force you to focus on the most important things. Personal tasks should include your other plans, such as exercising, reading a book or going out with friends. Chores should include recurring tasks that you need to do at home, or for your family. Once everything is filtered and labelled accordingly, do all the tasks from the “priority” list first. Don’t move into other tasks unless everything in that list is done.

Tip #4 – Learn to let go

When it comes to goal setting, there are times when you need to learn to let go. Spending time perfecting a task will take away time and energy that should be spent working on other things.

Tip #5 – Be flexible

No matter how well you prioritize, sometimes there are unexpected things will simply veer you away from your tasks. Relax and accept that there are some things that are beyond your control. Learn to make adjustments by allotting one hour of “do-nothing time” into your day, so that you can easily adjust your schedule if something unexpected comes up.

Prioritising is not an easy task, but you should be able to stay on track by following these tips. Including goal setting in your everyday tasks will enable you to accomplish the things you want done. Your priorities may change on a daily basis, so review your list often and ask yourself if you are happy with what you accomplished. This way, you will always have clear goals to follow.

 

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Paul Bailey
 

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.

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