How to Prioritize Tasks at Work Like a Pro

Adriana Girdler

The best prioritization techniques so that you never fall behind Do you feel like you’re drowning at work but don’t know where to start to …

The best prioritization techniques so that you never fall behind

Do you feel like you’re drowning at work but don’t know where to start to get out of that feeling? The art of prioritization is easier said than done, but it is an essential skill to learn and continuously improve, no matter what career you’re in.

Understand Why You’re Prioritizing

It can be tempting to just get into the rhythm of a daily routine and try knocking tasks off your to-do list with little thought as to which tasks are more important than others. But when life gets busy, this will quickly lead to overwhelm!

One of the biggest mistakes people make in the corporate world when they have multiple responsibilities is thinking that every task is a priority. All of a sudden, they don’t know what to do! This is why prioritization is so important.

Understanding how to prioritize is going to help you reach deadlines, reduce your stress, allow you to be more effective and efficient. Prioritization is fluid and can change; just because you name something a #1 priority doesn’t mean you can’t shift it according to new needs. Your priorities won’t always look the same and sometimes, new things will come up that you’ll have to deal with.

Make Your List

So, where to start?

Making a list is the first thing you have to do. Do a brain dump of everything you have going on. Don’t think about order of importance – just think about everything that’s causing you stress that you need to get done.

Organize Your List

Next, make 3 columns. Start distributing items into those 3 columns (A, B, and C).

Here’s what each column represents:

  • A items are central to meeting your deadlines and are time sensitive.
  • B items are other items that are less time sensitive but still of importance.
  • C items are everything else (not time sensitive or critical. Think of these as items that are ‘nice to have done’ rather than items that you ‘need to have done.’)

How to Figure Out What to Actually Get Done First

What happens when you have a bunch of stuff in the A column? Where do you go from there?

Well, that’s the fun part. I’ve created a whole video explaining this because I wanted to make sure you have no confusion left over where to start when it comes to your tasks and responsibilities.

Head over to YouTube with me and I’ll teach you exactly how to figure out which task from your list deserves your attention first!

I really hope that you found this helpful – and if you did, it would mean so much to me if you would share it on your social media.

Every manager has to take on projects, so a great place to start as a new manager is learning some project management skills. If you’re a new manager, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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