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  • Writer's pictureNick Howell

Priority Setting...

Updated: Oct 17, 2023



If you can find a way to effectively prioritise, it can dramatically change your home and working life significantly.


It can help with you being more productive, creative, improve work/life balance, improve your mental wellbeing, your success at work, and your happiness.


You may find that the sense of overwhelm decreases as the list of what you were thinking about as important turns out not to be on your immediate list any longer.


In this blog, I’ve focused on the work environment, remember though you can take the same principles and use this in your home environment.


Priority Setting...


1. Getting Things Down - The first step is to capture everything that’s swimming around in your head or that may be on some form of a list that you may already have in place. Ensure you capture anything that is taking up mental space that you believe deserves your time.


This is your master list; it will serve as the first place where you continue to capture things that come into your mind and into your lap.



2. Assistance In Prioritising - You may still feel that it’s a challenge to separate what is important and what's not when generating your plan.


There is a technique that is helpful for you to use for this. It is called the 'Eisenhower Matrix' and it helps split tasks into four quadrants.


At the heart of this technique is that urgent tasks are the ones you may feel you need to react to, and important tasks are the ones that are linked to your core work (the work that usually links to your work goals and strategy).



Do (Important & Urgent): These must be actioned and prioritised. The belief here is if, over time, we focus on our important & urgent tasks, the less reactive we are and hopefully, we can then reduce the number of items that come up in this quadrant. Remember to deal with the crisis well to prevent it from coming back (sucking yet more time away from you).


Schedule (Important, But Not Urgent: These are your important tasks but without the urgency, usually much of your core work activity. These should also be split up into manageable pieces. You should look to allocate time to tasks that are here. Decide when you’ll do these and schedule them within your diary.


Delegate (Not Important, But Urgent): Delegate these tasks to someone else if possible. These tasks may not need your expertise. Focus on what is urgent about the situation rather than the larger activity. Tackle these efficiently and quickly to have time for your important tasks if unable to delegate, longer term find ways in which you can delegate.


Eliminate (Not Important & Not Urgent): These can be your time depleters. Decide to either defer it, dump it, delegate it, or do it. Get rid of these as soon as you are able from your list, to make space, both in your diary and within your mind.



3. Split Things into Timescales – Split your tasks into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily activities. What you will find, as you move forward in time, your daily list will feed from your weekly list, your weekly list from your monthly list, and all from your master list.

When something comes into your master list, it’s time to impact it and whether it needs to fit into either your daily, weekly, or monthly view.


Once you have your daily, weekly, and monthly goals outlined. Make sure that the goals are at a level where they are broken down into meaningful actions.


Your plan will change as you move forward in time, and it’s useful to schedule in time at the end of the working day to update. Avoid the pitfall of spending too much time curating your plan, rather than getting on with the things on it.


Check out my connected blog, all about productivity tips. Use these tips in conjunction with prioritising your goals.


I'd love to know - What priority-setting techniques and tips do you use?


If you feel it would be beneficial to explore how you prioritise your activity or set your goals, do feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to discuss where I can help you.


Nick is a Life, Personal Development, Career & Leadership Coach based in Norfolk, England. Through his work with individuals and businesses, he helps unlock potential. Helping his clients achieve success and happiness in their personal lives and careers - www.nickhowellcoaching.com

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