How often have you found yourself saying these things?
- I wish I had one more hour to complete my tasks.
- Despite how hard I work, there is never enough time.
- The day is not long enough for everything we need to accomplish
Lack of time is a universal problem that the majority of project managers and professionals face today. An average worker spends about 30 hours a week checking their email. Does that sound a lot?
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With 48-50 hour workdays, it can get difficult to complete your tasks. So, what can be done to solve these issues? Well, task prioritization can work wonders for you!
In this blog, we will explore how you can streamline your work with the best task prioritization methods. Not only will you complete your projects in time, but you’ll be able to eliminate instances of mismanagement.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Task Prioritization: When Everything Is Important?
Task prioritization and time management in project teams can get messy without a reliable process. Be it a project manager or a team member, setting project management techniques can help you save a lot of time. What about a to-do list?
Well, it can help, but if you use a task management software, you can create an automated process. Different team members can add their tasks, and you can sit together to prioritize accordingly.
When you understand which tasks are dependent on others, you’ll be able to create a much more efficient schedule. Once you are sorted with the order of tasks, it is time to organize.
Once you know the order of specifics of the tasks, it is time to prioritize and organize. Let’s have a look at some of the best methods to prioritize tasks.
1. GTD: “Getting Things Done” Task Prioritization Method
The brainchild of David Allen, Getting Things Done (GTD), is based on the idea that your mind is for having thoughts, not holding them. So, you need to have a method in place that can help you capture ideas and tasks and store them for reviewing and prioritizing at any given time.
Once you have captured all your tasks and turned them into actionable items, it is time to organize them. With GTD, the process takes place through the decision tree. So, what does this involve?
GTD first sorts non-actionable tasks into three categories:
- Trash – Remove these tasks
- Reference – These contain valuable information but do not require immediate attention
- Someday/maybe – The tasks are your pending tasks and need to be completed at some point.
Once you are done with this, it is time to sort out the actionable tasks.
- Right Away – If you can complete tasks in one step, complete them on an immediate basis
- Waiting-For – If you have assigned tasks to other team members, add them to the waiting-for list
- Next-Action – If you don’t have to complete actions on some tasks right away, add them to this list
- Calendar – If your task has a defined deadline, then add it to the calendar
2. “Eat That Frog” Method of Prioritizing Tasks
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.- Mark Twain
Eat That Frog is a method that requires strategic planning. So, if your job is to consume two frogs, it is suggested that you eat the biggest one first.
What this really means is that you must complete your most important tasks first. At the start of each day, you need to identify your objectives and analyze your task list from that perspective by using time management strategies.
So, if you have to complete important and complex tasks, make it a point to complete them the first thing in the morning. Once you have completed them, you can proceed to other tasks. Not only will this method lead to lower stress levels, but it will also help you achieve more in a day.
3. ABCDE Methods
One of the easiest ways to prioritize tasks, the ABCDE method lets you supercharge your efficiency. All you need to do is follow the alphabet order and sort out your tasks as per the following method.
A – High priority
B – Medium priority
C – Low priority tasks
D – Delegate to other team members
E – Eliminate
Do you find yourself stuck between several tasks and often fail to complete them? Well, then, timeboxing is a method designed for you!
Instead of completing tasks as you go and multitasking, you should divide your day into “chunks”– blocks of time dedicated to completing each task. After noting down all your tasks, you should sort them according to the context.
For example, if your team is building an app, you can sort the tasks into front-end and back-end design activities. Once you have done that, you can fix a time period for each task group.
This will help you focus on your work rather than constantly breaking focus to concentrate on something else. Chunking is an incredibly efficient method for teams that juggle multiple projects at once.
5. Eisenhower Matrix
One of the most basic prioritization methods, the Eisenhower matrix, lets you group tasks according to importance and urgency. Follow these steps to streamline your tasks using the Eisenhower matrix.
- Important and Urgent tasks: Complete these immediately
- Important and Not Urgent tasks: Schedule
- Not Important and Urgent tasks: Delegate
- Not Important and Not Urgent: Eliminate
As you start completing your tasks, it’s essential to keep all the stakeholders in the loop about progress, milestones, and other aspects. Say goodbye to emails, and step into the era of getting things done!
How do you streamline tasks? Share your experience in the comments below!