Prioritizing is of crucial importance, especially when your to do list is overflowing, as most of ours are. We’ve discussed several methods of prioritizing so far:
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to come up with a way to visualize your priorities, so you can see at once which tasks have priorities and which don’t. Again, there are several ways to do this:
- Put the high priority tasks at the top of your list
- Categorize by A (high priority), B (medium priority) or C (low priority)
- Use an app like Evernote to separate high, medium and low priority tasks
But there’s another method that’s highly effective, very simple and doesn’t cost any extra time or money: use colors to visualize your priorities. Red, yellow and green are colors we know well and we instinctively grasp their meaning:
Red: high priority
Yellow/orange: medium priority
Green: low priority
If you have a handwritten to do list (anyone still uses these?), use highlighters to code the priorities. If you use Word, Excel or any kind of other software, either use a colored font or highlight the tasks with the right color. Now you can see at once which tasks you’ll have to do first on any given day. Because most of us are becoming more and more visual, this is a quick way of keeping track of our priorities.
If you use a ‘master to do list’ and plan weekly or daily what you want to do, just color code all tasks on the list fist so you have a good visualization of your priorities. Then plan your ‘red tasks’ in first.
Don’t forget to regularly check the priority of your tasks though, because a task that is green now may be red next month because you’ve waited too long!
What system do you use to visualize your priorities?