You must know what is most important to you in order to effectively prioritize. If everything is important then nothing is really important. Whether you call it mission, vision, objectives or your life purpose you must know what is most important in order to prioritize.
To prioritize effectively you need a method. Methods we’ve encountered involve assigning an A, B or C; in Outlook this is also known as “High, Medium or Low.”
- -Urgent/Important – this is based on Stephen Covey‘s work. Urgent tasks are those that require immediate attention. Important tasks are those that contribute to what is most important to you. An “A” task would be both urgent and important. “B” tasks are important but not urgent. Urgent but unimportant tasks are rated “C.”
- -Vital / Supporting – an “A” task is vital or critical to our ability to achieve our goals; without them, we will not achieve our goal. “B” tasks indirectly support the accomplishment of what’s most important and are complimentary. “C” is everything else!
Whatever prioritization method you use, begin by defining what is most important. Then pick a method and apply it. The secret to prioritization is to decide what your most important activities are and spend your time on those activities. Effective prioritization will significantly reduce stress and improve your purposeful productivity.