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Time management and prioritization  

Time management and prioritization


Correct time management and prioritization is extremely important when you have a load of miscellaneous work. It is an art and a science at the same time – something comes with learning and something only with personal experience. There are tons of books and articles dedicated to effective job administration supposed to hold you on top of productivity even if workloads look just overwhelming. Actually, for many cases it is true – effective time prioritization methods are the right way out when you are under pressure of different commitments and tasks. Let’s consider some tools for priorities allocation.

Urgency-Importance Matrix:

Different methods stand for different approaches, but in general you are offered to concentrate your attention at the most undelayable things. As far as you need to concentrate all your efforts on tasks which are really important at the moment, you can range your tasks with a help of time management priority matrix – a table where you have two columns and two lines. Columns should be entitled as “Important” and “Unimportant”, while lines as “Urgent” and “Not Urgent”. On intersections of these lines and columns you have four boxes which correspond to Important-Urgent, Unimportant-Urgent, Important-Not Urgent and Unimportant-Not Urgent. Then you should evaluate your tasks by their impact (what would happen if undone) and due dates, so after this you can just inscribe your tasks in appropriate boxes. When each of your tasks got priority identified, you should pore over Important-Urgent tasks first.

Impact-Efforts Chart:

This method is more sophisticated and requires from you to build another kind of time priority matrix displaying tasks in terms of relation between Impact and Efforts. Here you have two axes, let’s say axis “X” is for Efforts and “Y” is for Impact. Each axis is scaled from Low to High. The field between axes is divided into four squares with own names: the square where Impact is High, but Efforts are Low is called “Quick Wins”, High Impact along with High Efforts is called “Major Projects”, Low Impact with Low Efforts – “Fill Ins”, and finally Low Impact with High Efforts is called “Hard Slogs” or “Thankless Tasks”. You can range your tasks by positioning them in appropriate squares of this time management priority grid, so then at first you can focus your priorities on reaching Quick Wins, then Major Projects, while having Fill Ins completed during some spare time, and ignoring Thankless Tasks which waste a lot of time without worth return.

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Time management and prioritization

Software for managing time priorities:

Another effective tool for job prioritization is special software supporting a variety of specific functions. Such software allows you to schedule your tasks and to set up  priority over them. With its help you can easily form up your to-do lists adjusted in the best manner showing your tasks properly grouped and sorted by priorities and due dates. Good example of a tool with flexible  priority setting is VIP Task Manager where you can create your worksheets with regard to time and priorities of your tasks: each task has several priority levels and each task can be appointed to certain deadline. 

You are free to create and share custom layouts of your projects, so you can easily find optimal compromise between urgency and importance of your tasks. This is client-server software which will help you in spreading priority control practice over a team of collaborators helping them to plan their workloads. 


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