How to Prioritize Work Tasks: The Ultimate Guide to Priority Management
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:
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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:
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.
This method consists of ranking your tasks into five categories.
The priority matrix allows you to look through your to-do list and categorize based on their urgency and importance.
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 can be huge. For example, one new product could dramatically grow the business while the minor website update might make a negligent difference.
Some examples of things that often waste time:
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?
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 very satisfying.
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Take all of your tasks and place them into four quadrants:
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It means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also means deciding what's the most important task even when everything on your list feels crucial.
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To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.
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