When you’re delegated a new task or project it can be an overwhelming process to figure out how it can be incorporated in your daily schedule. The first thing I do when I get a new project is put it down in my calendar. However, it’s one thing to add it into your to-do list but it’s also important to prioritize it according to urgency and importance.
Projects and tasks that have immediate or upcoming, hard deadlines should be prioritized first to ensure a timely completion. When projects are prioritized in the order of importance, it can be easier for you to schedule your day and block out time within your schedule to work on them. I also include calendar reminders for those projects that are nearing a deadline to help keep me motivated to stay on task.
In addition to prioritizing important tasks, you also want to order them by estimated effort. When I’m reviewing my to-do list, I always ask myself, “What will take you the most time or effort to complete? What additional resources or meeting will you need to complete them?” This helps me decipher what projects will take up more time. Larger or lengthier projects should be prioritized first to allow the appropriate time for completion. However, I also find it can also be motivating to check a few smaller, shorter tasks off your list to help you focus more on the larger ones.
If you find it hard to categorize your tasks or projects because they all seem equally important, try putting them into a priority matrix.
A priority matrix can be a helpful visual tool that categorizes tasks into four quadrants: urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important and not urgent and not important. Whether they are filled out individually or within a department, it’s a great compliment to a to-do list.
– Lori L. Palmer, President, REB Storage Systems International