To know how to prioritize your To-Do list directly affects the success of your project or task that you are working on, it also affects the engagement of your time and your role as a team lead. Your every project whether it is small or large, especially the critical one requires a clear sense prioritizing. Of course, it is easier said than done, it doesn’t matter how well you have planned, change of orders and re-prioritization always appear as a surprise. It is just the natural order of things.
Prioritizing is one of the biggest challenges for project managers and leaders on a daily basis. Even if you are working on the best project management software available, you will still be the one who enters information into the tool. After all this, you don’t want to be the one who is crying for the “top priority” for every other project that comes down the pike.
In the end, you have to be persistent and have to have the right kind of insight to make sure that no one is working on yesterday’s priority. However, it takes a lot of practice and consistency to get this thing right.
If you have ever felt this way, this blog is written for you and to help you manage your team’s workload and finish the work before deadlines. Here are a few tips that you can use to prioritize your to-do list that have a lot of moving parts.
- Assemble Your To-Do List
The first step would be putting together everything you need to get done in a day or a week. At this point you don’t need to worry about the order of tasks or the number of items, just get it all there.
- Categorize Urgent vs. Important
The next step is to categorize your tasks, see if any of your tasks need immediate attention. I’m talking about the kind of work that, if not completed within the required time could harm your company’s reputation or may have negative consequences. You can follow the following table to categorize your tasks.
- Evaluate Your Task
Now, look at your categorized tasks and see which one holds the highest value for your company. Take it as a general practice, you want to recognize which type of tasks have the highest priority over others.
Such as the focus of your client’s work before finishing your internal work, solve support ticket queries before managing training materials. One more way to asses the value is to see how many people are intact with that task. In other words, the more people are associated with the project the higher are stakes.
- Estimate the effort
If you end up with two tasks of similar priority, check for the estimated effort. Start the one which you think will take the most effort to complete. Many productivity experts suggest starting the lengthier task first. However, if you feel that you won’t be able to focus on the important task while the shorter is still on the list, go with your own flow. It is actually a good practice to get over the smaller one first before diving into deeper waters. And don’t forget to calculate the time taking on each task through time tracking apps.
- Be Resilient and Adaptable
Accept that your priorities will change and often when you least expect them to. Anyhow, there is also a trick for this issue, stick to the tasks you are committed to completing.
- Know when and what to cut
Apparently, you can’t finish everything on your list. You need to know what to cut on your list after you are done with your prioritizing and estimates. Focus on the priorities that you know you must and can complete for the day. Take a deep breath, analyze it and dive in.