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Do you have a long list of tasks to get done today but don’t know where start? Sometimes looking at the mountain of stuff you have to get done can be overwhelming. Learning how to prioritise tasks can be key in moving the needle on your goals. Here are the methods I have recently learned that are helping me to prioritise my goals.
My situation now is very different from when I was working for a marketing agency. Both situations present their challenges. Right now, I am looking for work, wanting to grow my business as well as get started with my Arbonne business. In the agency, I would receive work from clients, colleagues and management. Often times tasks would be urgent. But where do you start when everything is the number one priority.
Organise Your Tasks
Put all your tasks in one place. Remove them from various emails messages and reminders so you can see them all together in one list. This can be in a notes app or on paper. There is something about writing things down on paper for me that makes them feel more real. I also find u can lose a list of tasks on your desktop under all your windows and tabs. If you are keeping a tidy desk (recommended for productivity) then having a physical list next to you is hard to lose.
Arrange by time
Which tasks are important or urgent? I received a lot of emails each day as my role was admin based. If I had an email with a flag, I knew it was either urgent or important, so would get high priority on my list. Right now, my most urgent and important task is finding a job in Australia. I also want to prioritise my learning and development so tasks relating to this are high on my list too.
Now you can see what is important is there anything you can cut or move to later in the week. Cut tasks that do not need to completing today. Shorten your list and allow you to work with those number 1 priority tasks.
Add a Value
Now you may still have a list of tasks that are all urgent or labelled as important. I recently watched a video on SkillShare hosted by the founder of SkillShare. The method he used for prioritising tasks I found very interesting. He created columns with values ranging from £10 (he used $) to £10,000/hour as illustrated below:
Now the values are adjustable, depending on your industry and how you value your time. But the method remains the same. For each task on the list place it into one of these columns. £10 / hour tasks could be responding to clients emails. £10,000 / hour tasks could be completing a project. This technique works Regardless of whether you are looking at work tasks or life tasks. Valuing your time and what those tasks are worth to you is a great way to prioritise.
At the business workshop, I attended recently I realised that I was spending a lot of time on busywork. This meant I was not spending time on the things that are going to move the needle in my business. It is very easy and comfortable to smash out those £10/hour tasks for some quick wins. It might make you feel productive but in reality, you are not doing the things that are going to achieve your goals.
Evaluate the Effort Involved
If you have done all the previous steps and still have a list to prioritise in the £10,000 / hour column you can try this step. Look at the amount of effort that each task will take. If you are after a quick win that will move the needle you can choose to start with the lowest effort task. This could be the tasks that will take you the least amount of time. For others, you might want to get the meatiest task out the way first. People often suggest getting the thing that you don’t want to do out the way first. It depends on the list of tasks you have and the type of person you are.
I hope you have found this article helpful for prioritising your tasks. This method can apply to tasks in your 9 – 5, side hustle or life admin tasks. I will be creating more blog posts along this theme as I discover and trial new systems for productivity. If you would like to follow my journey you can join me on Instagram @StephWelch17 where I cover the topics of travel, productivity and life. Or on YouTube where I am documenting my journey in a daily vlog.