Are You Too Busy? Prioritize Things and Find Joy in your Life
Prioritizing things is one of the most important aspects of time management. According to Meier (2010)1, by prioritizing tasks, one can focus on the targets of the day and plan strategically to achieve them. The author quoted that although prioritizing a to-do list is an ongoing activity, it allows people to make the most of their time. They can’t only manage their daily tasks, but can also find joy in their life.
Why is Prioritizing Important?
Meier (2010), in his research, highlighted the fact that a to-do list, in which every task is equally important, is not achievable. Every task has its own significance and requirements. For example, Meier mentioned in the article that those tasks which are urgent or are deadline critical should be accomplished first. A prioritized to-do list provides people with a flexible and practically achievable list of targets for the day. This allows people to do things which satisfy them and enjoy life.
Mark “Must”, “Could” and “Should”
Felton and Sims (2009)2, in their study, proposed an idea that tasks should be categorized as “must dos”, “should dos” and “could dos.” This can facilitate the prioritization of tasks and allow people to make the most of their time. Here is a quick description of each type of task, as explained by Felton et al. and Meier to help people understand the rues of prioritizing things.
According to Meier, those tasks that can’t be delayed or are deadline critical should be characterized as must do tasks. Filtering the most important and deadline critical tasks of the day paves a smooth path for the rest of the targets. With a list of all the necessary goals on the table, it is easier to schedule deliverables in a strategic manner. The author also highlighted the fact that in order to achieve something in a timely manner, it is import to bring human mind under pressure. Thus by serving the purpose of a driving force, must do tasks list motivates people to attain the most important goals of the day in a timely manner.
Felton et al. emphasized on the fact that when making a priority list, it is important to keep in mind your capacity. Although it is recommended to complete the must do tasks first, if you have time left then go for the “should do” tasks. By should do tasks, the author refers to those tasks that are important but not urgent. Felton in the study mentioned that people usually have higher productivity level when they work under pressure, but overburdening the mind can impact productivity.
Both authors (Meier and Felton) have ranked the least important tasks as “could do objectives.” However, the authors have recommended that by performing these tasks, a person can make the most of his time and capabilities. It will not only give him/her a sense of contentment and achievement, but will also reduce the workload for the next day, thus facilitating time management and organization.
According to Boduch (1999)3, prioritizing things can’t only help in monitoring and managing time, but also people to do things for themselves. Boduch in the study has enlisted a number of benefits of prioritizing tasks in accordance with their importance, some of these benefits are:
1. Time Organization
Boduch presented the idea that strategic time organization and division of a large task into smaller modules can facilitate successful execution, this idea can be implemented in every aspect of life. From daily routine to workplace management, prioritizing things not only helps in planning things but also allows people to achieve their targeted goals. The author also highlighted the fact that time organization provides enough room for coping with challenges and failures.
2. Improved Productivity
With strategic distribution of time, a person can think in many directions simultaneously. A defined list of tasks to be achieved allows a person to analyze all the challenges and difficulties that can possibly hinder the achievement of goals. Moreover, to-do lists also provide people an opportunity to produce more in a limited time. This is the reason that prioritizing tasks is considered as the key to success in business world (Boduch, 1999).
3. Peace of Mind
Time organization and achievement of goals provide people with the peace of mind. The reduced risk of failures and mismanagement improves the competency of a person and boosts his/her confidence. Moreover, with enough time to cope with unexpected challenges or failures, a person can improve the quality of his/her work.
1. Meier JD. (2009). Prioritize Your Day with MUST, SHOULD, COULD.
2. Felton S. and Sims M. (2009). Organizing your day. Time management techniques that will work for you.
3. Boduch R. (1999). How To Get Far More Accomplished In A Lot Less Time. 113 Tips & Tricks To Help You Boost Productivity & Overcome Procrastination.
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.