Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Set Yearly, Monthly, Weekly Goals and Work Backwards

Goal setting is a well known and proven technique. Many new ideas may come and go but Goal Setting Technique is worth millions of dollars.
Begin by keeping a larger picture of what you want to achieve or where you want to reach over a certain period of time. Write it down in specific terms. Now divide this task into one level below of a time units and then repeat it still one level lower, till you reach per working day

This can be a long term or medium term goal. Let us say you want to achieve a sales target of 10,000 units of group particular products in one year. This means that your monthly target should be 834 units. Considering 25 working days in a month ( with one weekly off) the daily target comes to 33.34 units or 34 units per day.
Now you have a better idea of what is to be done in a month and what should be your daily task. You may now allocate certain time which must be invested by you (out of your 8 hours work schedule) to sell 34 units per day.

This is a more effective way of prioritizing tasks than simply trying to do things in an ad hoc way. This helps you to decide what to work on for a particular day without really giving much thought rest of the not so important or unrelated things. With a weekly review you can see the impact your inputs are making in achieving bigger picture.

Make a list

After you have equipped yourself with a better idea of what your daily target is, make a list of things you have to do to complete the task of the day.

Work smart

Suppose you have 20 things in to do list. Considering an 8 hours day with 30 minutes of lunch break and 15 minutes of coffee, water cooler break etc., mathematically you are left 435 minutes of total time. While there is a possibility that the 20 things in your to do list may consume 10 hours.

So what are you going to do now? Work every day for 10 hours or let your target suffer.

Well there is a third option – Work smarter and not harder.

This takes us directly to the principles of Time Management.

Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Simple Ways to Prioritize Tasks at Work

Simply put, divide your daily tasks from your to-do list into 4 groups:

1. Urgent and important tasks

The client wants to have an urgent meeting with you about some warranty claims. Since the customer is boss and he has an urgent issue about warrant claims it is important too. Such things must be dealt with immediately.

2. Important but not urgent

The newly appointed sales executives need to spend 2 hours with you as the final part of their orientation program. This is important as their training shall bring better results for the company

Therefore, you can schedule this briefing cum training session in a proper planned way.

3. Not important but urgent

There is a phone call from the top customer which needs to be attended to immediately out of courtesy, or some regulatory compliance has a deadline which needs to be taken care of. The best way to deal with them is to attend to such things fast and be done with it.

4. Neither urgent nor important

These are petty matters which have high nuisance value. They keep popping up to distract you from your important work. For example, the phone calls of tele callers or salesmen or need for your approval on petty expenses etc. The best way out is to delegate. Authorize someone junior who is capable and trust worthy to take calls on your behalf and / or give approvals within certain limits.

Provide for Unexpected Work

In other words, it means keep buffer hours. It is difficult to plan and provide for everything. Unexpected things do crop up and they will keep coming. There could be some networking problem which has stopped your internet. You can’t clear your e mail inbox. No problem, you can afford to take it easy.

It is best to allocate some time daily, say half an hour each day for such unplanned / unscheduled / unexpected tasks. This habit will give you flexibility rather than irritation to deal with unforeseen situations.

Thus you can carry on without letting such things impact your speed.


With these simple ways to prioritize tasks at work, you can do high-quality work in lesser time making you more productive.

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