How to Prioritize Work: 7 Practical Methods for When "Everything is Important"
Instead of keeping all tasks on a single level of priority, this method offers two or more levels for each task:
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There are some general areas that all of us should prioritize in order to function well and generally make life worthwhile. These areas are:
Intentionally take your focus away from distracting areas in your life.
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.
In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.
Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:
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Urgent but unimportant tasks = distractions.
Urgent tasks put us into constant “reply mode.” Important work is related to planned tasks that move us closer to our goals.
Anytime you are pulled away from your tasks, it takes time to readjust to them when you jump back in (sometimes it can take up to 25 minutes).
Interruptions (notifications, loud noises, social media, checking email etc.) harm your concentration.