How to Set Priorities in Your Daily Life

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How to Set Priorities in Your Daily Life

In 2010 I was in charge of the commercial department at a children’s NGO “The Smile of the Child”. I had many responsibilities and duties. My office was flooded with papers, the diary was full of appointments, meetings and reminders for tasks I needed to do.

One morning I was in a desperate state, my obligations were so many, that I was overwhelmed. Luckily for me that day I had a session with my coach. With this session, I turned a new page for me in terms of priorities and organization of my work.

I will share with you what I learned and which parts I apply up to this day. With this technique I am efficient and productive in my work.

I start my day with the tasks I need to do in my mind. The chances of completing them are slim if I have not written them down. Why? Because when they are written (in the mobile diary, on paper or anywhere that serves best) I can prioritize and plan them out by seeing which are urgent tasks, which are important and which I can assign to others.

Initially I write down in a list all the pending tasks of my day. Then I fill them in the corresponding category from “Important and Urgent” to “Not Urgent and Not Important“.

Urgent & Important – I have to do these as soon as possible

20% – 25% of my work

  • Crises & emergencies.
  • Pressing issues.
  • Projects with deadlines.
  • Tasks I cannot predict.

Not Urgent but Important – I decide when to do them

50% – 80% of my work

  • Important goals, professional & personal.
  • Planning and strategy for my work.
  • Personal development.
  • Activities that will help me achieve my goals.
  • Leisure time.

Urgent but Not Important – I delegate them

15% of my work

  • Distractions.
  • Interference, interruptions, some phone calls.
  • Some meetings.
  • Some e-mail and written reports.
  • Activities that prevent me from achieving my goals.

Not Urgent and Not Important – For when I have little to do

1% of my work

  • Insignificant issues that waste my time.
  • A waste of time with long meetings.
  • Irrelevant e-mail.
  • Excessive TV.
  • Some phone calls that waste my time without paying for it.

I always start with the Urgent and Important because they definitely need to be done immediately.

Then I focus on the Not Urgent but Important, and at the same time I assign what I can from the Urgent but Not Important and I deal very little with the Not Urgent and Not Important.

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