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  • 06 Aug 2018

How to Prioritize When Everything Is Important

How to Prioritize

Normally, you are a very organized and planned worker, I know. But even in the lives of the most routined and organized professionals, there must come situations when things just seem to fall apart and there are so many things to do and you feel utterly overwhelmed. So, how do you prioritize your work when everything seems of the same importance to you?

What is Work Priority

The word ‘priority’ started to be used in the English language back in the 1400s. Back then, it was always singular. Priority meant the thing or task that is the most important to you at a given moment. It was commonly and rightly assumed that only one thing can be your priority at a time. But somewhere in the 1900s, we started to use it as plural. We use ‘priorities’ now for the issues and tasks that we deem important and urgent. Therefore, when it comes to organizing so many important tasks, it will be much helpful if we go back to the original definition of the word and then find out the task that is THE priority of the moment.

Why do we Need to Prioritize Our Tasks?

Why do we need to prioritize? Simply to decide which task needs our attention the earliest and by doing which task now will we be able to maximize our productivity. If we do not prioritize our tasks then we will never be able to meet deadlines and finish projects in an organized way. And that’s exactly why it is important to prioritize your goals also.

How to Prioritize Tasks

What is the most important step in prioritizing goals and your tasks at hand? It is to be fully honest with yourself and ask what really needs to be done right now. Frankly speaking, there must be a single task that is the most important in terms of deadline and profitability. So, ask yourself with a clear mind, which task you have to start doing right away if you are to hit deadlines. If there are multiple tasks that need to start right now in order to fulfill deadlines, then jump to profitability -- which task among them will yield the most profit for you and your organization? Then start with that! Basically, it is as simple as that.


Now, in the above scenario, you had more than one tasks that needed to be done right away but you can only do one. So, the most sensible thing for you, in this case, would be to delegate the other important tasks to others. Seek help from co-workers, friends and family depending on the task at hand. If delegation is not possible, talk to your boss or clients and make it clear beforehand that you will need some more time and offer sincere apologies for the delay. That is the sure shot way to deal with it without harming your reputation.

Keep a Detailed to-Do List

No matter how many high-priority tasks you have at hand, have a detailed list of all of them. Include as many details as possible on the list. Such as - the deadline for each task, time and resources you will actually need to complete each task and estimated value it is going to offer you. With this sincere to-do list, you will just instantly get the idea of which task needs your attention the most and which tasks need to be completed or started right away. That’s how to prioritize tasks.

Stop Being Carried Away

It can happen that when you are working on an important project, you become carried away by the importance of it and allot too much time working on it for a perceived perfection. But this can harm you in case of other high-priority tasks at hand. So, be careful not to be carried away on important tasks and invest as much time as only essential for doing it the best way possible.


A great way to clear minds to see your priorities in proper order up ahead is to keep your surroundings tidy and organized. So, whenever you are overwhelmed with many important tasks at hand and can’t think clearly as to which one you should do at first, do none of them and start cleaning and tidying up your desktop, your workstation and your home. That way, while on the process, you will see that your mind is getting clearer and you are now able to see which task you have to start with. Besides, keeping your surroundings free from clutter will also allow you to have more focus on your work.

So, these are basically the simplest ways on how do you prioritize your tasks. Follow these whenever you are overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. However, you if you can follow these guidelines on how do you prioritize your work then you will most probably never be overwhelmed.

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