Time and Task Management: 3 of 6
Step 2: Schedule when you will do your prioritization, and time for it.
I know, you’re probably staring at this, trying to make sure you read it right. You did – you need to schedule when you are going to prioritize. I know this might seem counter-intuitive or useless, but if you don’t schedule your time out, you would be amazed at how easily your prioritization time will be lost.
Think about it – how important does taking the time to prioritize seem to you? If you’re like me, probably not very high. It’s not billable hours to a client, it’s not furthering the growth of the company, and it’s not even charitable work. It’s mundane management. But it’s also so critical that I have found the more I do it, the better the rest of my work gets.
How to actually prioritize depends on your personality, how you operate, and how new all of this is to you. It might be as simple as a post-it note on your desk a couple of times a week as a reminder, or as involved as actually putting it into your business calendar as a daily activity. This depends on your personality. For me, I actually had to first make prioritization a task on my list – before I ever started regularly managing my time and tasks – because of the small and poor to-do list I was already following.
As for when to prioritize, that is again up to you. I would suggest either early or later in your day. Most people recommend that you prioritize at the end of your day for the following day, but part of my job description is to address any issues that come up, and those usually come in between 5pm and 8am – issues I don’t see until I come into work the following day. So, I actually do my prioritization between 8:00am to 9:00am. I don’t need an entire hour for prioritization, but that’s the timespan during which when I usually do my management.
As for how to prioritize, that’s in the next section.
Time and Task Management Series:
5 Steps to More Effective Time and Task Management (1 of 6)
Be Realistic About Time (2 of 6)
Schedule Time for Prioritization (3 of 6)
Prioritize (4 of 6)
Work Down the Prioritized List (5 of 6)
If Emergency Re-Prioritize (6 of 6)
Time and Task Management Includes Break (Bonus)