Get Your Priorities Straight

May 20, 2024

By Meghan Greenwood

download a free prioritization spreadsheet
download a free prioritization spreadsheet

Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Get-Your-Priorities-Straight-e2jsqc0

As mentioned on our previous episode, procrastination often occurs because we don’t know how to prioritize. We are pulled in a million directions with a million tasks on our mind. How are we supposed to know where to start?

I have created a spreadsheet to help you prioritize and easily keep track of your tasks.

The best way to start is to do a brain dump. Get all of the to-dos out of your head and onto paper (or electronic paper). Don’t yet be selective on your list. Just write everything down that you want to accomplish. These can be long-term and short-term, big and little. Nothing is off limits.

Next, rank these tasks by urgency. If it has a hard deadline associated with it, say like a bill payment or job negotiation, classify as urgent. Creating those photo albums or starting a back-to-school list may be ranked as important, but not urgent. And for nagging chores, like cleaning the garage or vacuuming the car, perhaps these can be classified as not important or urgent. Be honest with yourself on these classifications.

Then, add a due date for each task. Again, if there’s a specific deadline associated, make sure to include. If there are softer deadlines, like a back-to-school list prior to September, add those in as well. Otherwise, put in some ideal targets for dates.

You can also add the time it will take to get each task done. Be liberal. For a major task, like stopping smoking or getting a new job, 6 months is not unrealistic. But for cleaning the garage, perhaps 4 hours will do.

Lastly, sort and organize your tasks by due date. Use the time associated to help you schedule blocks to complete the task. And crosscheck the urgency to decide if you really want to do this task or not. My hope is that some of the not important or urgent tasks are deprioritized, helping you streamline your prioritization and decrease that feeling of overwhelm.

You can repeat this process every week, every other week, or monthly. Any tasks that tend to lapse time and time again are likely categorized not important or urgent. At that point, hopefully you’ll feel comfortable removing, outsourcing, or delegating them.

Request your FREE Prioritization Spreadsheet.

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