3 Methods for Setting Priorities Effectively
29 Jul 2022

3 Methods for Setting Priorities Effectively

Post by drclixadmin

It’s simple in the rush of daily life to turn into reacting to anything that pops up the instant it occurs and pay it complete focus until the next one appears.

It is, naturally, an invitation to madness. The sense of loss of control over what you do and how you do it is enough to push you to the edge, and if it doesn’t scare you, the mess of unfinished projects you leave behind will catch up with you.

A well-organized inbox and the process of processing it in an organized manner can allow you to regain some control after you’ve cleared your inbox and outlined every task you’re required to complete. You’ll need to decide what you’ll do next minute. Which of these projects should your time be spent on, and which are best left to be put off?

If we don’t establish prioritization, we usually follow the path that has the most resistance. (And taking the least resistant path, as the late legendary Utah Phillips reminded us, makes the river bend!) This means that we’ll choose and prioritize the tasks we have to accomplish and focus on the simplest ones, leaving those more difficult and boring ones to a “later” that, in most cases, doesn’t come or, more often, it happens just as the activity needs to be completed, sending us into the midst of chaos and stress. We also feel regret.

This is the reason setting priorities is essential.

3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

There are three fundamental ways to set Priorities, each of which will likely suit different individuals. The first one is ideal for those who procrastinate or people who put off tasks that aren’t theirs. The second one is for those who thrive on achievement and need a steady flow of small wins to help them get through their day. Thirdly, it’s for those who are more analytical that need to be aware that they are working on the most objectively important thing they can do now. So, in order, they’re:

  1. Eat a Frog

There’s a saying that goes in which you awake in the morning and has breakfast with a live frog. You’ll go through your entire day with the knowledge that a terrifying possible thing that could happen to you during the day has already gone by. That’s right that the day is likely to improve!

In Brian Tracy’s novel Eat That Frog!, the concept behind this is that you take on the toughest, most challenging, and most tedious task each day at the beginning of the day to allow you to go about the remainder of your morning knowing the toughest task has been dealt with.

If you’ve got a big old frog sitting on your plate, you’ll need to get your knuckles down. Another saying goes that when you have eaten a frog, avoid spending all day watching it! It’s important to be aware of this when you’re the person who puts off things by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” all day. Simply open your mouth and chomp the frog! Otherwise, you’ll likely be able to convince yourself not to do anything.

  1. Move Big Rocks

Perhaps you’re more of a fiddler, people who spend all their with a lot of fumbling around. You’re busy and working all day long, yet there’s nothing that’s important to get accomplished.

It is important to know the expertise of the pickling container. Pickle a jar, then add sand to it. Try to place the rocks you have collected into it. You can’t, right? There’s no space.

If you want to place the rocks inside the jar, then you’ll need to place the rocks first. Fill the jar with rocks, and then try adding pebbles. Watch them roll in and fill the space. Add a couple of heaps of gravel. The gravel will then slide in the cracks. In the end, sprinkle some sand.

For those who are metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar can be all you get in the course of a day. You can fill it with useless, nagging tasks that leave little room for the bigger things or start with, the bigger tasks first, then do the smaller tasks, and then fill the empty time by doing the unnecessary things.

To apply it to your life, Make sure you sit down at night before going to bed and make a list of the three tasks you consider the most important you need to complete the next day. Do not try to squeeze in everything you’re required or think you’ll need to complete, only the three most important tasks.

The next day, pull your list and begin to tackle your first “Big Rock.” Keep working on it until you’re done, or you’re not able to make additional advancements. Next, move to the next and finally the third. When you’ve completed all of them, it’s time to start the smaller things, being confident that you’ve made progress on all the important items. What if you fail to get to the smaller things? You’ll feel the joy of having accomplished three major aspects. At the end of the day, no one has ever regretted spending longer arranging their pencil drawers in lieu of writing their story or making mailing labels instead of securing a large client.

  1. Covey Quadrants

If you can’t seem to relax until you are certain that you’re working on the most significant aspect you’re doing at any given moment, Stephen Covey’s quadrant method, as described in the book The 7 Ways of highly effective people: Scientifically Effective Leçons in Personal Change could be the right choice for you.

Covey suggests that you split the paper into four parts by drawing lines across and from top to bottom. Within each of the quadrants, you write down your assignments in accordance with whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

In the quadrants, III and IV are where we can get caught up in the nitty-gritty things like phone call interruptions, meetings (QIII) and working, shooting the breeze, and other distractions (QIV). While some of these things may have some value for social interaction, however, if it hampers your ability to complete the things that matter to you, then they ought to be eliminated.

Quadrants I and II is the area of work that matter to us. QI is a time of crisis, looming deadlines, and other tasks that must be completed now, or else terrible things could occur. If you’re in control of managing your time, it is possible to reduce the tasks you have to complete in Q1; however you cannot stop them. For instance, a car accident, someone becoming sick, or a natural disaster. These events all require immediate attention and are not usually scheduled for.

You’d prefer to spend the most time you can in Quadrant II doing your best at the tasks that are essential and having plenty of time to fully engage with them and perform the very best job you can. This is what the QIII and QIV tasks take away time from, so once you’ve laid out your goals in your Covey quadrant grid based on your own personal sense of the importance and not do as much as you can on tasks in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks in the event that they occur).

Getting to Know You

Try the various approaches to see how they work. It’s not easy to know which approach is the best fit for anyone – what is a perfect fit for one person is restricting and too tight for another person, and insufficiently loose for the third. You’ll need to figure out what is significant to you. What objectives are you aiming for your actions to achieve?

The end result is that establishing priorities is an exercise in the knowledge of oneself. You must know which tasks will be pleasant and which seem like torture, what jobs can help you reach your goals, and which lead you to the wrong direction or, at the very least, make you spin your wheels in circles and not get anywhere.

The three strategies listed above are among the most well-known and tried-and-true strategies on the market, but perhaps you have a different strategy you’d like to communicate. Let us know how you’ve set prioritization in the comment section.


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