Time management is very important. It determines how efficient and productive you can be, and how well you structure your time to include all the tasks you may have on your plate.

Complete task management can be difficult at all levels, and knowing how to assess and prioritize your tasks is key.

Why prioritize?

Prioritizing your tasks can provide a clearer picture of what needs to be done, how much time it will take, and helps to establish times and boundaries on getting things done. Prioritizing your tasks helps to establish goals, improves time management to avoid work overload and enhances productivity.

Here are a few suggestions:  

Create a Master List

You cannot have task management procedures in place without knowing the tasks at hand. Creating a list that has everything on it that needs to be done will give you an opportunity to see how you are currently spending your time, what can be eliminated and what should be moved up on your priority list.

Analyze Your Tasks

This will help you determine what is most important. Using a three-category system usually helps:

  1. Tasks that require immediate attention and are urgent
  2. Tasks that are important but not urgent
  3. Tasks that are neither important or urgent

Using a letter system may work better, depending on your circumstances. A-C can serve the same purpose as 1-3. Add “D” to delegate the task to someone else, and use “E” to eliminate the task altogether.

Use Your Time Effectively

If you have blocked out certain times in which to complete your tasks – do it! Staying on task may be difficult at first, but remain in control of the situation. Do not allow any interruptions – phone calls, e-mails and other distractions can wait. You will be surprised how much you can get done within the time frame allotted. Your goal is to get results and avoid “busy” time wasters. Schedule distraction times in which to check your e-mail, return calls and breathe. Don’t cram too much into a block of time that will turn your task into a burden.

Work Efficiently

Utilize tools that can assist in getting your job done easier. This is a huge part of prioritizing your tasks to work in your benefit. Every day, tackle at least one item from categories 1 and 2. This will help you keep things in perspective and shorten your list.

Prioritizing your tasks not only helps with time management, it helps maintain an even balance in your daily routine. Always plan for success, and the rest will follow.

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