Select Page

How To Prioritise Your Tasks

Do you have endless lists of things to do? Are you confused about what needs to be done first?

This article is going to teach you how to prioritise your tasks and lists. With 3 different methods to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits you.

You’re going to move from a long to-do list that you don’t know where to start with to a prioritised list that you can start working on today.

How Do You Prioritise Your Tasks? Learn 3 Simple Prioritising Methods | Read It Now
  • Pinterest

What Does Prioritize Mean?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, prioritize means “to decide which of a group of things are the most important so that you can deal with them first.”

So, we can say that prioritising is choosing your most important tasks which you’ll act on first.

Prioritise Or Prioritize

Both prioritise and prioritize mean the same thing and both can be used. The difference is that the spelling with the ‘S’ is British-English and the ‘Z’ is American-English. I’ll be using both spellings in this article.

Prioritising And Time Management

Prioritizing is a key time management skill. In fact it’s a huge key in productivity. This is because prioritising cuts out unimportant tasks so you can get more impact out of the time you have available.

And once you’ve learnt how to prioritize, you can use this strategy again and again. It works just as well on personal tasks and projects as it does on business activities.

Get The Important Tasks Done

Prioritising your highest impact and most important tasks will mean that you’ll get better results in your business and life. Because instead of spending time on activities that bring small results, you’ll be spending time on the tasks that bring big results into your life.

Frees Up Your Time

By learning to prioritise you can free up time. This is because you evaluate what is and isn’t important to your success. And once the main tasks are completed you can focus on other stuff you enjoy doing as your important tasks are taken care of.

How To Prioritise Your Tasks | Click To Read
  • Pinterest

Prioritization Techniques

Below are three techniques that will help you prioritise your tasks and projects. You have the ABC method, the Eisenhower Matrix and the Most Important Task (MIT) techniques.

I would recommend trying each technique out at least once if not twice to see which technique works best for you. You may also find that depending on your workload, one technique may work better than others.

ABC Method

The ABC method has 3 different categories for tasks; A (your must-do’s), B (your should-do’s), C (your nice to-do’s). 


It’s important to note that you can have more than 1 to-do in each category. To handle this, prioritise those tasks with numbers (e.g. A1, A2, A3) and complete them in that order. Then move onto the next category.

A

A tasks are very important. They have serious consequences if you don’t do the task. Therefore, these are the tasks you would do first in your day.

Most times they’re due today with very tight deadlines.

For example, sending out an email about the product you’ve launched today could be the difference between high sales and low sales.

B

B tasks are to-do’s that can wait another day or two before they get done. They may have some minor consequences but nothing serious.

You don’t want to tackle these tasks until all A tasks are completed or an emergency happens and they suddenly become very important.

An example is replying to an email asking about your product. Yes it should get done but the consequence of someone not buying it for another day or two won’t matter as much as not notifying everyone that your product is available.

C

C tasks are nice to finish at some point in time but don’t need to be done now or within the next few days. They often have no consequences, so they’re a low priority.

These tasks should not be completed until both your A & B tasks are done.

For example, changing the fonts on your website is something that’s nice to do but will have little or no impact on your site.

Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower matrix divides your to-do’s into 4 categories or quadrants.

The goal is to spend most of the time in the not-urgent but important quadrant. And the least time in urgent and not-important & not-urgent or important. While reducing the number of urgent and important tasks.

Urgent And Important

This quadrant houses tasks that need our attention now. They have very tight deadlines and are due today or tomorrow.

Emergencies and crisis also fall into this category.

You would tackle these tasks first.

Example of a task that’s urgent and important is calling a plumber about the boiler that’s broken and sending an email about a product you’ve just launched.

Not-Urgent But Important

These tasks don’t need our attention right now but they do get us closer to our goals. They are often long-term projects and give you big results.

Schedule these tasks for a later date using your planner or project management system.

Some examples are planning, tasks related to your goals and relaxing.

Urgent But Not-Important

Urgent but not-important tasks need to get done although they don’t align with your goals.

These tasks are best delegated, if possible, automated, or done after both urgent and important & not-urgent but important tasks are done.

A great example of these tasks are scheduling your social media and doing a food shop. You can delegate the social media to a VA or automate it using a software. And you can automate or make it easier for your food shop by having an online order delivered to you.

Not-Urgent Or Important

This category of tasks are best eliminated or reduced to bare minimum. They’re essentially time-wasting and procrastinating tasks.

For example, watching hours and hours of TV each day or changing the fonts on your website.

Most Important Task (MIT)

The MIT method for prioritising is very simple. Just choose 1 task that needs to get done today. The task you choose should create the biggest result in your life or business. And they often move you closer towards your goals.

Your most important task is best done first thing in the day before you move on to any other to-do’s.

There are 3 variations if you think 1 task is too restrictive:

  1. Choose your 3 MIT
  2. Choose 1 personal and 1 business MIT
  3. Choose 1 that takes you closer to your goal and 1 other you need to do

Here are a couple of examples: sending an email about your product, calling a plumber about the boiler that’s broken.

How Do You Prioritise Your Tasks?

These techniques are good and all but how do you actually apply them to your life? Here is a great example of applying each method to your to-do list.

Click to learn how to plan your week with your prioritised tasks.

The first step is to list down all the things you need to do today. Then you can choose the method.

Your To-Do List For Today

  • Collect prescriptions from pharmacy
  • Order a new book
  • Write a blog post
  • Go to the library
  • Send out email about my product
  • Create a meal plan
  • Call about the broken boiler
  • Find a new running plan
  • Change website fonts

ABC Method

A

Ask yourself, what tasks need to be done today?

  • Collect prescriptions
  • Send out email about my product
  • Call a plumber about the broken boiler

Prioritize these tasks:

  • A1 – Collect prescriptions (as they close at 12pm)
  • A2 – Send out email about my product
  • A3 – Call a plumber about the broken boiler

Then work through these tasks in their order (A1 then A2 then A3) before moving onto B tasks.

B

Ask, what tasks can wait until tomorrow or later in the week?

  • Go to the library
  • Write a blog post
  • Create a meal plan

Prioritise these tasks:

  • B1 – Write a blog post
  • B2 – Go to library
  • B3 – Create a meal plan

Wait until all A tasks are complete then work through the list (B1, B2, B3) or schedule them for tomorrow or a later date.

C

Ask, what tasks would be nice to do?

  • Find a new running plan
  • Change website fonts
  • Order a new book

Prioritise them:

  • C1 – Find a new running plan
  • C2 – Change website fonts
  • C3 – Order a new book

Again work through them from C1 to C3. Only touch these tasks if you complete A & B tasks. Otherwise schedule them for later in the week.

Eisenhower Matrix

Urgent And Important

What tasks need to be done today or tomorrow at the latest?

  • Collect prescriptions
  • Send out email about my product
  • Call a plumber about the broken boiler

Do these tasks first.

Not-Urgent But Important

What will get met closer to my goals? And what can I schedule to do this week?

  • Write a blog post
  • Create a meal plan
  • Find a new running plan

Only tackle these tasks if you finish all the urgent and important tasks. Otherwise, schedule them for later in the week.

Urgent But Not-Important

What needs to be done?

  • Go to library

Delegate this task to somebody else if you can or tie it in with something else (e.g. food shop). And only do it if the above two task categories have been completed or scheduled.

Not-Urgent Or Important

What doesn’t have a time-frame? And won’t have that much impact on my life or business?

  • Change website fonts
  • Order a new book

Don’t work on these tasks at all or unless you finish all other tasks.

Most Important Task

What is the number one or top three things that need to get done today to move me forward?

Number 1

Collect prescriptions from pharmacy or send an email about your product or call a plumber about the broken boiler.

Top 3

  1. Collect prescriptions from pharmacy
  2. Send an email about your product
  3. Call a plumber about the broken boiler
How To Prioritise Your To-Do List | Click To Learn
  • Pinterest

In Summary

The three techniques I’ve shared to prioritise your tasks;

  • ABC Method
    • A
      • What tasks need to be done today?
      • Do first.
    • B
      • What tasks can wait until tomorrow or later in the week?
      • Do second.
    • C
      • What tasks would be nice to do?
      • Do third.
  • Eisenhower Matrix
    • Urgent and important
      • What tasks need to be done today or tomorrow at the latest?
      • Do first.
    • Not-urgent but important
      • What will get me closer to my goals?
      • Do next or schedule them.
    • Urgent but not-important
      • What needs to be done?
      • Delegate or automate them.
    • Not-urgent or important
      • What doesn’t have a time-frame or significant impact?
      • Ditch them or do them last/the bare minimum.
  • Most Important Task (MIT)
    • What is the number one or top three tasks that will move you closer to your goals?
    • Do these first.

As there are different methods to prioritise your tasks, try each method on different weeks and see which one you prefer. You may find yourself using all three so that on busy days you can use the Eisenhower matrix or ABC method and on quieter days, you may use the MIT.

Prioritise Your Workload | Read It Now
  • Pinterest

Three Action Steps

  1. Pin this article so you can refer back to it
  2. Try prioritising today’s or tomorrow’s tasks using one of the above methods
  3.  Sign up below to receive 2 free workbooks and access to my list of top 10 productivity tools.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This