How to Prioritize Work Tasks: The Ultimate Guide to Priority Management - Deepstash

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How to Prioritize Work Tasks: The Ultimate Guide to Priority Management

taylorpearson.me

  • Task management. This one is most commonly taught and includes systems like Getting Things Done.
  • Knowledge management. This is embodied in systems like productivity educator Tiago Forte's Building a Second Brain.
  • Priority management. Without this category...

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Prioritizing tasks at work involves getting all your tasks and commitments in one place.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to get done. Questions to help you:

  • Do you have commitments to others like your boss, partner, kids, or clients?

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Find your goals. Without them, it is impossible to prioritize your tasks. Try to set 90-day goals, which is long enough to make meaningful progress. Questions to prompt goals:

  • What’s the one thing you could do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?

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Prioritize your list of possible goals using and expected value (EV) calculation. Expected Value = Resources Required x Return on Investment x Probability of Success

Take the list of everything you could potentially work on over the next 90 days and then rank them by these criteria.

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The ABCDE Method

This method consists of ranking your tasks into five categories.

  • A – Very important, must be done at all costs.
  • B – Pretty important, but the consequences aren’t as serious if it’s not completed.
  • C – It would be nice to have done, but with no consequences for not doing ...

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The priority matrix allows you to look through your to-do list and categorize based on their urgency and importance.

  • Quadrant 1 - Urgent and important. This is anything due soon or overdue. See what can be automated or delegated.
  • Quadrant 2 - Not urgent and import...

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Categorize your tasks by how much value they generate for you or your company. Tasks can be assigned as either $10/hour, $100/hour, $1,000/hour or $10,000/hour.

We might think of the value of the tasks as linear, where some tasks are more important than others. But the difference in value c...

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Some examples of things that often waste time:

  • Checking business stats (traffic, sales) every day if there is nothing actionable to be done with them.
  • Going back and forth in an email thread more than once in a day
  • Meetings before noon or without a clea...

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  • Maker Time: Maker work requires long amounts of uninterrupted time, like coding, designing or writing.  The peak energy part of your day is most suited for this.
  • Manager Work: This work needs to be done, but does not drive things forward, like meetings, email, or fillin...

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Update all the tasks on your list and prioritize them. Then put them on your calendar based around your energy levels. Ask "Given my current energy level, what's the most valuable task I can do now?

  • First put your rest in your schedule, because it is the easiest to neglect.
  • ...

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Schedule Your Day

At the start of each day, look over your calendar and task list for that day, and quickly write down three things you are grateful for your priorities of the day.

Writing on paper makes it less likely to keep adding as the day progresses. Crossing the tasks off as you complete them feels ve...

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