All You Need To Know In order to Master Prioritization

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Think of this process as a brain dump. You want to get every possible thing that pulls at your attention out of your head and write them on paper.

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For your weekly calendar. Make it your basic time budgeting guide. List your courses, work, study time, recreation, meals, TV, relaxation, etc. be flexible, adapt your schedule to changing needs. Keep your schedule handy and refer to it often. If it doesn’t work, change it.

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Write down all the things (not on your calendar) that you want to do today . Things like homework due or tests to take or tasks you want to emphasize. Also include shopping, personal calls, etc. This list is a reminder. Use it to set priorities and to reduce decision-making and worry. If time is tight, move items to your long-term list. Rewrite this list each morning.

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This can be one or two lists, a weekly list and/or a monthly list. Put down your goals and things you have to do. What do you want to accomplish over the next month? What do you need to buy? Use this list to keep track of all your commitments. If you’re worried about something, put it on this list. The purpose of this list is to develop long-term goals and to free your mind to concentrate on today.

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Writing down your goals and classifying them is a good start to prioritizing your objectives, the next thing to do is to cut each list to size. There will be some tasks in your list that you do not actually need and some that have been improperly ranked, for this you will apply the Eisenhower method.

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The Eisenhower matrix

Developed by former US president Dwight Eisenhower, the matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones.

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Sometimes you might prioritize a task only to have expectations or deliverables change on you. At this point it’s hard not to be disappointed. But you can’t let that skew your judgment.

Humans are especially susceptible to the “sunk cost fallacy” —a psychological effect where we feel compelled to continue doing something just because we’ve already put time and effort into it.

Don't be that person, learn from your mistakes and move on.

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