5 Strategies To Help You Prioritize More Effectively

Checking off items on your to-do list is immensely satisfying; there’s no doubt about it. Keep in mind: It’s just as important to prioritize. Doing so will help you meet deadlines, manage your workload, and utilize time and resources. Granted, there are many tools you can use to help streamline systems and tasks. Even so, prioritization should be top of mind. Here are several strategies to put into action.

1. List Your Tasks

Make a master list of tasks. Don’t worry about the order of importance; just get them down on paper or in a document. You have plenty of time to categorize and prioritize later. Think of it as being like the brainstorming you did in school. Some seemingly strange or irrelevant ideas might come to mind. Put them down anyway. You can always strike them off later.

2. Categorize Your Tasks

Have you heard of the 4Ds of time management? If not, get them into your head now, and apply them to your tasks. They are: do, defer, delegate, and delete. It’s a straightforward matter to assign tasks to these categories, and you might be surprised at how many tasks fall into the last two categories.

3. Prioritize Your Tasks

Steven Covey popularized the Eisenhower Power Matrix a few decades ago, and it’s still relevant. Once you’ve finished categorizing your tasks, label them according to the following criteria: Urgent and important, important (but not urgent), urgent (but not important), and neither urgent nor important. The last group of tasks will be the lowest priority. Urgent and important tasks should be first priority. Be sure not to procrastinate on the important (but not urgent) tasks, and consider delegating the tasks that are urgent (but not important).

4. Focus On Daily Tasks

Each day, focus on the most important tasks. Don’t get sidetracked. Completing these tasks successfully will move the needle in your business and provide the most powerful ROI.

5. Do What Is Difficult and Important First

What about that important, urgent, difficult item that needs doing? Focus on that one first. You’ll have the most physical, mental, and emotional energy to devote to it, and can later determine what you need to do to replenish yourself afterward. Also, keep in mind the Pareto Principle: 20% of effort determines 80% of results.

Effective prioritization is an essential skill to have as a business owner. Keep these tips in mind as you scale your enterprise.