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.
Time commitment to get started: Low
Type: Visual, abstract
Perfect for people who: Find small tasks and interruptions are taking over the whole day.
What it does: Holds you accountable to your daily plan by allocating specific periods of time for specific types of work.
To start timeboxing, just split up your day into blocks of time with specific tasks assigned to each one.
One approach is InboxZero for email. Dedicating specific chunks of time to reading and answering emails so that they don’t take over your day.
Another approach is Day Theming. Instead of switching between different types of work or areas of responsibility throughout the day, you dedicate each day of the week to a specific theme.
Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.
Most people want more done during the course of the day, feeling productive if they have checked more boxes out of their to-do list. Time management has been a fad for a long time, equating productivity with the number of hours spent working.
The way we approach time management is proving to be a vicious circle of wasting time managing time, turning it into a problem rather than a solution towards productivity.