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Prioritizing tasks

How to Prioritize? - Prioritizing Tasks - Dynamic Personal Prioritizing

Importance of prioritizing tasks

Simply, you prioritize, if you want to know, what to do next in your flow of work. What is the next most important thing to do?

Does your way to prioritize

  • minimize stress?
  • maximize efficiency?
  • help your target group? (boss or customer or both).
  • Do you wisely use your time?

That´s the initial importance of prioritizing

Possible criteria choosing the next task

  • Is it an urgent or important request from outside? (from your boss, your customer, anybody else?)
  • Does it stem from your own considerations and judgement?
  • Is it an immediate urgent demand?
  • Does it lead to your goal?

First you will apply the filter already described in actions: You quickly should decide and know, is there a need to say no, could it be delegated or are you forced to process the task?

If to process you have the choices to do it immediately or to materialize within your to do list or calendar.

If you can write it into the calendar the priority is already fixed by the calendar time frame. If you write it into your to do list you have some freedom of prioritizing tasks later. If it must be done immediately, if you are forced to do so, you need not prioritize, others did it for you.

So what effectively remains to prioritize is the notes in your to do list.

Here you have various possibilities to prioritize. You possibly know the books of David Allen and other time management experts. There is no need to repeat their recommendations. links anführen

The prioritizing tasks method I describe here, I am using and testing since about 5 years with best results.

Since using this method together with the molecule model and the 3 tools only: tasklist – weekly planner – file organizer (paper and electronic - PDA) I could improve my efficiency and drop my stress level significantly.

In parallel I experienced a lot of people (of companies of different working areas) how they are managing time.

Special literature gave some additional impulse of a rework of time management issues. This resulted in an upcoming ebook, in which I describe the background of the method in detail.

Priority setting is the top activity and skill at time management

Since priority setting has much to do with the ability to make best decisions, because it is based on some other skills and is the core activity of time management, decision making will be covered in an own page.

The difference between setting priorities and making decisions I will define as follows:

Priority setting is a continuous decision making process building a ranking among two or more possibilities. Whereas deciding normally deals with the discrimination of two possibilities, leaving one alternative behind in favor of the other.

Pre-processing tips

  • Break tasks down into sufficiently small steps as soon as they appear to be too complex.
  • some experts recommend to do the ugliest thing first.
Carefully consider, what is ugly? If ugly means a very uncomfortable task, hindering you to go ahead towards your goals, then this is good prioritizing advice. Otherwise let your guideline be: what leads me to my goals – then it is superfluous if ugly or not.

In practical work however you cannot always sufficiently answer the question “… does this task lead me to my goals…”. Nevertheless, you have to do many things, that don’t show any connection to your goals.

However, you should keep your goals in mind and try to figure out, why you have to do many things, that have apparently nothing to do with your goals.

If you want to go deeper into interesting psychological aspects of determining what to do when, see http://redcatco.com/blog/productivity/frogs-gnats-butterflies-and-gems/


Your judgement and increasingly your gut feeling at prioritizing naturally depends on substantial sense of responsibility and on strong engagement in your profession and knowing, what to do when.

Even with conventional prioritizing you will need the same qualities in order to make best priority decisions.Finally, you should have some believe in human intuition. If you are pure rational and only can believe what you see, dynamic prioritizing the shown way, maybe isn't your thing.

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