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10 Powerful Tricks for Effective Task Prioritization

— June 26, 2019

We all face growing to do lists. However, effective task prioritization can turn those lists into something less stressful.

Good organization can completely change your life. It is not just about getting things done. It is about how you feel when the end of the day comes and you know that you achieved all your goals. That feeling is priceless. Effective task prioritization is the key to achieving it.

The biggest problem for most people is not knowing where to start from so they get overwhelmed and confused. If you know how to prioritize your tasks in the right order, you’ll be able to get things done and have time for the things that matter in your life.

Try out these ten amazing tricks for task prioritization and see what happens. 

1. Make a List 

Lists are essential for effective prioritization. When you have a visual of all the obligations and tasks, you’ll know what you need to face. Better yet, you won’t be able to use the excuse “I forgot to do it.”

Keep everything in one place so that you can easily add tasks for tomorrow or the days to come. Once you have an overview of all to do’s you can start with prioritizing.

2. Define What’s Important and Urgent

When you have your list of tasks in front of you, the next step is to define what’s important and what’s urgent. Urgent tasks are the ones that have a strict deadline and important task are the ones that help you achieve long-term goals and values.

Tasks that need to meet a strict deadline and have an important role in your life should always go to the top of your list. A helpful trick you can use is to mark your tasks for that day with “U” for urgent and “I” for important and those tasks which include both should go first. 

3. Pick Your Top Choices

Looking at a long list of tasks can be intimidating and create anxiety. You can conquer stress if you single out a few important tasks that must be done first. For example, pick three that are absolutely necessary and focus just on those until you get them done.

Person making to do list in a notepad; image by Glenn Carstens-Peters, via
Person making to do list in a notepad; image by Glenn Carstens-Peters, via

Try to forget about the other tasks, because you want to channel your energy to the more important ones. You will trick your mind into thinking that there is less to do so it will take some of the pressure off. 

4. Get the Hardest Thing Done First

It is so easy to avoid something that you don’t feel like doing but that is why you need to get it done first. If you know that there is a demanding task that is both important and urgent, it should be the first one on the list. 

If you deal with the hardest challenge first, everything else will seem less exhausting. Not to mention the feeling that you can deal with any other task with ease if you managed to finish that one. 

5. Stop Prioritizing Easy

Prioritizing easy tasks can seem like a good warming up for the rest of the day but it isn’t. Any type of task will absorb your energy and if you invest your time and energy in something that is simple and not important you won’t make any progress.

It can seem tempting to go off track and jump back to the easy tasks but just think about how you need your full energy for something that is important. 

6. Live in the Moment

Instead of thinking about the illusory past and potential future situations, prioritize the present moment. Being in the present will help you to focus on tasks one by one rather than stressing about how you will manage to do it all.

Whenever you get that urge to overthink, just stop for a second and do a quick meditation. Just choose a meditation that is best for you and relax, even for a minute. It will bring you right back. 

7. Set Realistic Goals

No one knows you better than you so you should know how much you can actually do in one day. The thing is that you need to be realistic. 

You have a certain amount of time each day and you need to be honest with yourself about how much you can accomplish. If you set unrealistic goals and expectations you will get discouraged from the very start. 

8. Stop Prioritizing False Emergencies

Just because someone put some task on your plate today, it doesn’t mean that you have to reply to it right away. Be aware of unnecessary requests. 

We tend to fall under this false belief that we need to deliver a quick response to everything. Well, we don’t. First deal with what’s really important and then if you have some time left, you can get to other tasks. 

9. Be Ready to Give Something up

Don’t put too much on your shoulders because you will only feel bad about it later. You need to be ready to miss a night out or skip a daily coffee with your friends if you don’t have the time. 

Some days are just busier than others and you’ll have more important things to do. When those days come around you need to be ready to give something up in order to enjoy spending time with your loved ones later without any pressure.

10. Don’t Aim for Perfection 

You need to accept that no one is perfect. Unexpected events can easily mess up your plans and when that happens, you need to be okay with it. Remember, perfectionism is overrated. 

When something ruins your plans, accept the situation and move the rest of the tasks for tomorrow, again, marking what’s important and urgent. Don’t stress about it because stress can’t get things done. You can. 

Over to You

Now that you are armed with these effective tips, you will be ready to start with some serious task prioritizing. 

As you will see, just by applying simple changes to your mindset and life habits, you can completely change your life for the better. 

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