Setting priorities is one of the key factors in effective time management skills. Some people seem to get so much more done. It’s not because they have more time, however, it’s because of their skill at time management. Managing your time will positively affect your daily output, your career and financial goals, and, ultimately, your success. Knowing how to set priorities on the list of things to be done is essential to achieve your goals and objectives.
Many people and business have long term goals and objectives, however, it is important to realize that you need to achieve the goals step by step with a short term action and implementation plan. In our complex business world, you can’t wait until you have reached one long-term goal before neatly moving on to the next. On any given day, you will be working on short-term tasks associated with multiple long-term goals and objectives. So how do you decide which to do first? You prioritize them. But how do you decide which tasks take priority over others? Which tasks should be completed first, second, third, and so forth? You can use the ABC method to prioritize your activities. Use the ABC Method to determine your priorities by placing each item on your list into one of the following categories:
- Priority A “Must Do”-these are the critical items. Some may fall into this category because of management directives, important customer requirements, significant deadlines etc.
- Priority B “Should Do”-these are items of medium value. Items in this category may contribute to improved performance but are not essential or do not have critical deadlines.
- Priority C “Nice to Do”-this is the lowest-value category. While interesting or fun, they could be eliminated, postponed, or scheduled for slack periods.
It is important to know that your priorities may change and therefore should be flexible. Priorities change over time. Today’s B may become tomorrow’s A as an important deadline approaches. Likewise, today’s A may become tomorrow’s C if it does not get accomplished in time or circumstances change.
Determining the Priorities of activities
One of the key factors in determining the priorities of the tasks and list is objectives, relevance and timing.
When given a tasks, you need to have a clear understanding of what’s involved in each task by asking the following questions:- the objectives, relevance and timing. For example, you may ask the following questions:
- Does the benefit of doing the job justify the investment of your time, energy, and resources?
- What is the deadline? By what date do you need to complete your task? Do you have the time to accommodate this request?
- Why is it necessary in the context of long-term goals?
Making Action List
After you have know how to set priorities for a list of actions or activities, the next step is to make a list. It is important to write down your list. Writing things down has a surprising benefit beyond merely helping you remember important information. After writing down your list of what has to get done, you’re more likely to gain a more understanding about the best way to accomplish it and the order in which to get specific things done. That will help you do more in less time.
Making lists help your organize your goals and objectives. It also enhance your motivation. Most people feel motivated when they find that you have finished a list of activities.
Making list can also help improve your results. Time experts have found that making list can significantly improve the results. Without a list, it’s easy to forget all the small tasks that need to be accomplished toward reaching an objective.