How To Prioritize Time Management

When you have more tasks than time, it can feel like you’re doing everything at once!

Finding effective ways to organize your time is one of the most important things you can do as a busy person. By organizing your time, you give yourself more time for the activities that matter most to you, and you start living with less stress.

You will also need to let go of some parts of your life if they don’t hold up priority. For example, I would say goodbye to my dream of owning a house in order to focus on spending money wisely and on having enough savings so I never have to take out loans to pay for expenses.

There are many different types of time management strategies, but here we will discuss five easy steps to prioritize your time.

Step No. 1: Create an index of important tasks

This is probably the easiest step to implement into your daily routine. You should already have this list somewhere, maybe even online.

By creating an index of tasks, you can easily find each task again later. Make sure this index is simple and intuitive – anything from using Google or another source to create a plain document or spreadsheet works well.

Some people use folders to group similar tasks together, which is also helpful. This way, you can quickly access all your recent work by going through the folder structure.

Set priorities for the day

how to prioritize time management

After you have identified your top tasks, now is the time to actually set yourself up with those responsibilities. What we call prioritizing time starts right after you wake up!

The first thing you should do every morning is make a note of what you will be doing that day. This can include making calls, meeting people, having conversations, reviewing documents, etc.

Once you have this done, then you can move onto planning your next step.

Plan out how you will spend your days at the very least one week ahead of time. By doing this early, you will have more chance of sticking to your plan.

And don’t forget to take breaks! You need to give yourself time to relax or things may start to pile up and become too much.

Make plans and schedule time

how to prioritize time management

A lot of people begin trying to manage their time by making appointments with themselves for things they want to do, or by using an app that tells you how much free time you have in the day, but none of these really work because you need to make actual plans to use your time effectively.

You can’t simply say “I will watch this movie tonight” or “I will read this book next week,” so you need to find ways to organize your time into blocks of time that you can spend doing different things. This is called time planning.

The more organized you are, the easier it will be to allocate your time wisely. It takes some effort at first, but eventually you will get the hang of it.

Start small by giving yourself one hour per day where you can do anything you like. You can then slowly add onto that as you feel ready.

Commit to a routine

how to prioritize time management

A good time management system is one that you will actually use every day, at least once each day. The days of having time every week or even every month to work on your career are gone, but there’s still something you can do about it.

By creating a ritualized schedule that includes self-care activities, you will make time for what matters most to you.

Self-care does not mean giving yourself a nice bath with all the amenities. It means doing things that matter to you, such as going to sleep after sleeping well last night, making lunch for today so you don’t have to go out this morning, and putting in some time with friends who mean a lot to you.

These practices will also help you reduce stress and find more balance in other areas of your life.

If you need extra motivation, consider how much money you’d save if you gave up a few less important items (like that fancy Starbucks coffee drink or daily workout session) to focus on what really matters to you. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you lose track of time when you're focused on significant goals.

There's no wrong way to manage your time, but thinking through why you want to prioritize certain tasks and people can help you determine which ones should take top priority.

Take breaks

how to prioritize time management

A few years ago, I read an article about how successful people made their time seem like it flew by. They mentioned changing your daily routine or “schedule” as they called it.

They said that most people don't have a set schedule of what they do every day, but rather, what they think they should be doing at a certain time.

By having a regular bedtime, for example, you'll probably get tired earlier than if you didn't have this consistent sleep pattern.

I know from experience that setting a regular bedtime makes me feel relaxed and rested when I wake up in the morning.

And since I've learned how important relaxation is for my mental health, I try to use time off from work or school to focus on something else for a couple hours. It helps me reset and re-focus on other things I need to accomplish later in the day.

Not only does this help with personal productivity, but also staff productivity. If you're a manager, being able to rely on someone who knows his/her job well and comes into work on time every day helps you plan ahead and make sure everything gets done!

Relaxation can be reading a book, listening to music or even just taking a short break outside or swimming once in a while.

Make progress toward your goals

how to prioritize time management

Now, this doesn’t mean giving up everything you want to achieve. On the contrary, it means keeping what you want very close to yourself. You’ll have to decide how much time you can afford to spend on each one, but once you identify something that makes you feel good and is important to you, you should give it its due value.

It may be going after something that requires more investment or working only during certain times of the day, but in the end, you will feel accomplished and happier.

You’ll also need to acknowledge there are things that must take a back seat if they don’t agree with your long-term health and/or happiness (for example, spending time with family over pursuing your career). If you keep these points in mind, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make room for those things you want and deserve.

Celebrate success

how to prioritize time management

It is important to recognize your efforts, not just when you have succeeded in your goals, but every time you have done something worthwhile.

When you succeed in achieving one of your goals, it can be easy to get distracted or discouraged because you did not achieve your goal right away.

It may feel like there is never enough time to focus on other things, and that your career will always remain stagnant.

But this does not need to be your life anymore. You are an intelligent person with dreams and hopes that do not need to come to an end.

You deserve to be happy and enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.

So make changes to how you organize your time so that you have more time for activities that matter to you.

Start by acknowledging yourself for your achievements and then continue to strive towards your dreams.

Be realistic

how to prioritize time management

‘Priority’ is an ambiguous word, so it can mean different things to different people. What one person considers important may not be important to you or to someone else.

This can be due to personal preferences that are unrelated to importance, such as whether you like vegetables more than meat or the opposite. It can also be because something that seems unimportant to you now might become very important later in life.

For example, while studying at college, many students would spend their time online looking up information or chatting with friends. But after graduating, those same skills are used for finding new jobs.

By adding these other priorities into your daily schedule, you will find there is enough time to do what you want to do.

Learn to prioritize

how to prioritize time management

Being organized is only half of time management. The other half is learning how to manage your time so that you do not have too many tasks going at once.

Prioritizing means deciding which tasks are more important than others. This can be done in several ways, such as by task importance or urgency, or through the use of timers or systems.

By being able to identify what needs to get done first, you will eventually find it easy to focus on doing the most important things first. You’ll also notice yourself completing higher priority tasks later instead of immediately after they become available.

There are several techniques for prioritization. No one method is better than the rest, but some work better for you than others. Try out different ones until you find something that works for you.

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