How to Prioritize Your Tasks and Activities – Part 2

Every day, you have a slew of things to do, and you must figure out in which order you’re going to tackle your tasks and activities. There are many ways you can go about this.

In my previous post, I presented my primary way to prioritize my tasks: prioritization in order of importance. With this strategy, you tackle your most important tasks first and then your second most important task and then your third, and so on. This is a simple and effective way to organize your tasks and ensure that you invest your energy in performing your high-value activities.

Another way you can go about prioritizing your tasks—and it’s closely related to the previous one (prioritization by importance)—is to organize your tasks by the level of urgency. That is, you perform your most pressing task first and then your next most pressing and the next and so on.

Whereas prioritization by importance asks, “What is most important?” prioritization by urgency asks, “What is most urgent?” And whereas prioritization by importance assesses the value of each task to determine which is most important, prioritization by urgency evaluates the deadline of each task; it’s the deadline that identifies the task you handle first.

When you use urgency as your criteria for prioritizing your task, it’s fairly straightforward to determine which task you should perform next. All you need to know is the due date for each task, and whichever task as the closest due date, that’s the one you perform next.

This strategy is especially useful when:

  • your tasks have about the same level of importance;
  • it’s difficult for you to determine which tasks are most important;
  • the level of importance is just not a factor.

When you find it hard to use “importance” (or don’t need to use it) to rank your tasks, you might use “urgency.” This is a very simple way to prioritize your tasks, as the only information you need is the deadline for each task and you’re good to go. And if a task doesn’t have an externally imposed deadline, you can set one for yourself.

When you perform your tasks in order of urgency, you increase your odds of meeting every single deadline.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.