How to prioritize your tasks at work and in your private life

How to prioritize your tasks at work and in your private life

In this article, you will discover useful tips on how to prioritize tasks in your work and more generally in your private life.

Before moving on to the tips, I would like to remind you that you can benefit from the expertise of a time management coach from our coaching firm to improve more effectively your productivity and that of your colleagues.

Here is a brief summary of my advice on how to effectively prioritize your tasks at work and in your private life.

1 – Prioritize your tasks according to what is important now

2 – Question your professional and personal organization

3 – Be more assertive

4 – Plan time to prioritize your most important tasks

5 – Understand the reasons for your procrastination

6 – Prioritize by taking into account the needs, qualities and specificities of your team

Now I propose to move on to my first tip.

1 – Prioritize your tasks according to what is important now

You’ve already heard about the concept of important and urgent that can be found in tools such as Eisenhower’s matrix.

My goal here is not to remind you of these principles but rather to use them from a different perspective.

If you want to better manage your time, you first need to clarify what is important to you now!

Without this, we will not be able to effectively prioritize your tasks, you will be more exposed to stress and you will not be productive.

If you are looking for more tips to improve your productivity, I suggest you read article 14 tips to be more productive at work and in your personal life.

My first piece of advice is to:

  • become aware of what’s important to you now
  • identify any inconsistencies between what is important now and what was important before
  • readapt your time management and actions according to your new priorities

Develop the habit of questioning yourself about what is important to you as an individual and to question your professional and personal environment.

Situations, goals and people evolve and so do you!

Staying up-to-date about what is most important to you is also important to maintain a good balance between your private and professional life.

If you are a manager you should regularly question your hierarchy about changing goals and priorities.

In this way you will be able to effectively support your team in the realization of the most vital projects of the company. At the same time, improving your management style requires developing the right habits to effectively prioritize your tasks as a manager.

To go further on the subject of team management, I advise you to discover the article 10 phenomenal principles of time management for managers.

If you are a business owner you should constantly talk with your clients about their most important needs and problems. This will allow you to improve the relevance of your business offer and to be more successful as an entrepreneur.

In some cases, it will also allow you to anticipate the needs of your customers.

If you decide not to update your understanding of what is important now you will:

  • be less successful
  • easily feel demotivated
  • not be fulfilled
  • experience more stress at work and in your personal life

If you wish to go further on the topic of time management, I invite you to discover the article 7 easy tips to overcome the obstacles of time management.

Now that you learned the importance of being aware of what is important in the present moment, the next tip is to question your personal organization system.

2 – Question your professional and personal organization

You have your own way of thinking and working.

Over the years, you have developed your own personal organization system.

These can be procedures and tools that you use regularly in your professional activity.

If you now want to improve your time management it is probably because some of your habits and methods are no longer useful to you as they were before.

You have several options to challenge and improve your time management.

You can start from a given task and find some alternative procedures to perform it in a shorter time and with an equivalent or higher quality level.

You can prioritize your tasks not only according to their level of importance but also taking into account your mental and physical energy level. This means that you will plan the most important activities according to your chronotype.

If you want to become more organized at work, I advise you to discover the article 13 scientifically proven tips to become organized at work and more efficient.

You can also apply to other tasks a procedure that you usually use for other types of tasks.

Another possibility is to discover the time management methods and tools used by:

  • your colleagues in the same or other jobs
  • other professionals working in the same or different occupations

The goal of this questioning is to understand what makes you lose time and energy in order to implement the necessary changes to increase your well-being and productivity.

Now that you have understood the importance of questioning your professional and personal organization, the next tip is to become more assertive.

3 – Become more assertive

Learning to be more assertive consists of expressing your point of view with confidence while avoiding entering into a conflictual relationship with others.

Doing this requires the following beforehand to:

  • become aware of what is important to you and of your value
  • build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • effectively persuade others
  • overcome blockages or fears

If you have difficulty asserting yourself at work you may have difficulty prioritizing tasks, saying no, delegating, taking breaks and managing stress.

Assertiveness is a great way to:

  • reclaim your time
  • become more productive
  • feel more fulfilled
  • have more pleasant professional and personal relationships
  • reach your goals more easily and be happier in your life

Developing greater assertiveness is therefore essential to achieve your goals while improving the quality of your professional and personal life.

Now that you learned the importance of being more assertive, the next tip is to plan time to prioritize your most important tasks.

4 – Schedule time to prioritize your most important tasks

It is important to define a specific time of day or evening to plan and prioritize your tasks.

In order to save time and be more efficient, you can plan just the most important tasks, the ones that will bring you closest to your goal.

I advise you to plan and prioritize your tasks always at the same time or time of day.

In this way, it will become an automatism and you will no longer need to devote your mental resources to it.

In order to correctly identify and prioritize your most important tasks, I suggest that you start with each goal, then you can:

  • list all the tasks to be performed in order to reach the goal
  • choose the action that will have the greatest impact
  • if necessary, break down this action into clearly defined steps
  • list the resources you need to complete each task successfully
  • plan the 2 or 3 most important tasks taking into account your overall workload for that day and your chronotype

Choose a quiet place to plan and prioritize your tasks.

Environments that are too noisy and crowded should be avoided as they can reduce your ability to concentrate.

Regarding your state of mind, try to plan and prioritize tasks when you feel good and full of energy.

It is also important to:

  • not plan and therefore prioritize too many activities
  • plan breaks of adequate length between each activity
  • take into account the time lost due to interruptions
  • plan enough time for your lunch break
  • mentally and technologically disconnect yourself from your work

Taking all these aspects into account will allow you to successfully plan and carry out your most important tasks of the day.

Now that you learned the importance of planning time to prioritize your most important tasks, the next tip is to understand what makes you procrastinate.

5 – Understand the reasons for your procrastination

Have you ever had to schedule and plan important tasks and procrastinate their execution for days or even weeks?

If your answer is yes, don’t despair because you are not alone in this situation!

On the other hand, if your strategy is to reschedule these activities without questioning what causes your procrastination, you will not be able to progress as effectively as you might.

To solve this problem, I advise you to write a list of activities that you are used to rescheduling often and that are a source of stress at work or in your private life.

Then, next to each one, write down the reason why you procrastinate.

One of the most common reasons is to be too perfectionist. In order to take action, you need to learn to accept a temporary imperfection in order to move forward in your work and avoid problems with your hierarchy.

Other people procrastinate because they find their job too unpleasant. In this case, you can combine this unpleasant task with one that you enjoy. For example, preparing bills while listening to music.

Procrastination may depend on whether a task is perceived as unimportant or not important even though it is actually important. The problem here is that sometimes these tasks become urgent and a major source of stress. In this case, go the opposite and create a sense of urgency by imagining the negative consequences of not acting right away.

Other people procrastinate because they believe they can only be effective if they work in an emergency with a high dose of adrenaline. It is important to help these people realize that this is only a limiting belief.

To go further on the topic of procrastination, I invite you to discover the following two articles: 10 outstanding tips to stop procrastinating and 11 tips to fight procrastination at work and at home.

In summary, understanding the origin of your procrastination and taking the necessary actions to change your perception of a given situation is essential to become more productive in your work.

Now that you learned the importance of understanding the reasons for your procrastination, the next tip is to prioritize by taking into account the needs of your professional and personal environment.

6 – Prioritize by taking into account the needs, qualities and specificities of your team

Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive or manager, you cannot effectively prioritize your tasks if you are not familiar with the needs, qualities and specificity of the people you work with.

If you are responsible for prioritizing the tasks of your staff members, you should take into account:

  • the chronotype of each of them
  • the specific needs of their personal life
  • the specific professional period that each employee is going through
  • their character, i.e. more introverted or extroverted
  • the way they communicate

Let’s take a quick look at these different points.

Chronotype

In an article on how to be more productive, I already explained in great detail the importance of taking into account the chronotype to improve both well-being and productivity at work and in private life.

But simply put, the chronotype is an innate predisposition whereby each individual performs better at different times of the day.

This means that if you have two employees who are more productive in the morning and one who is more productive in the afternoon, you have every interest in adapting the workload to their chronotype, otherwise they will be less efficient.

Personal needs

Personal life cannot be separated from professional life. If the people you work with have difficulties in their personal life, it will affect their effectiveness at work.

If you do not take this into account, you will increase their stress and reduce their productivity.

When you prioritize the tasks of these employees, you should modulate their work changes to take their concerns into account.

Specific situations

The people you interact with at work have varying levels of motivation for the position they occupy, just as you do.

You cannot assign to a demotivated person the same workload as a highly motivated individual.

If you are a good manager you should first understand the source of this lower level of professional commitment.

Then, at the same time, you should adjust the workload according to the professional difficulties encountered by this person.

Introverted or extroverted personality

You cannot motivate an introvert and an extrovert in the same way.

In terms of prioritizing tasks, introverts need more structure and calm to perform well.

Extroverts, on the other hand, enjoy competition and teamwork. Some tasks will be performed better by one person than the other.

Communication style

If you want to motivate your employees to perform the tasks you have planned and prioritized, it is important to use a way of communicating that is adapted to their personality and way of speaking.

If you wish to go further on this subject, you can benefit from the expertise of a communication coach.

If you don’t take into account the communicative particularities of your employees, you will be less likely to get them to complete the planned activities on time.

In short, effective prioritization of tasks requires developing an up-to-date understanding of the needs and functioning of your professional and personal network.

Conclusion on how to prioritize tasks

In this article, I have presented 6 tips to effectively prioritize your tasks in order to improve your productivity, well-being and job satisfaction.

If you wish to take advantage of the expertise of a time management coach, I invite you to write to us now through our contact form or you can check our life coaching packages.

 

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