Updated: Jan 11
At the start of each year, we find ourselves seeking ways to better ourselves. Generally speaking, this serves as a great time to build new habits that help us achieve more, increase efficiency, and put our best efforts forward. One area we see many entrepreneurs seeking to improve in both their professional and personal lives is better planning. If this resonates with you, consider using Priority Planning.
A statistic on LinkedIn showed that only 10 to 12 minutes of planning can save you two hours a day. This certainly underscores how efficient planning out our day, week, and month can be. Priority Planning is an effective way to master how best to plan our time.
What is Priority Planning & Why Is it Effective?
Planning is thinking about the tasks that need to be done. Prioritizing is ensuring the right tasks are being done at the right time. By prioritizing our objectives, tasks, and goals, we ensure the most pressing tasks are completed first while lower priority tasks are given attention and focus at a later time. Simply put, priority planning is the process of evaluating a group of tasks, ranking them in order of importance and urgency, determining how much time is needed to complete them, and then organizing our time based on the ranking & time needed to complete each task. It is taking our ‘To Do’ list one step further by prioritizing our list to ensure deadlines are met and time is managed effectively. This practice is extremely effective when demands for our time are high.
In addition, priority planning can be an effective tool when new demands pop up and/or deadlines are pushed forward. With priority planning, we can easily look at our tasks that are already ranked in order of priority, and determine how we can shift them to meet the new demands/deadlines. For example, perhaps we have assigned a time during the current week to accomplish a task with a deadline the following week. That particular task can be moved out to the next week allowing us to now dedicate that time to the new, more urgent task. Priority planning helps eliminate the panic that we “just can’t get this all done” by looking at a roadmap of our time and strategically making adjustments to ensure all deadlines can be met.
To help determine which tasks are a higher priority, consider the following when ranking them:
Does the task have a deadline coming up, and consequences if it is not finished on time? For example, a work obligation that needs to be done by tomorrow night. These tasks need to be attended to NOW.
Is it a crucial priority, meaning that this item must be done, but the deadline is not immediate? For example, a work obligation that will take approximately a day that is due next week.
Is this a non obligatory priority? This means that there are no consequences if it is not completed and most likely not a deadline. It is something that you can focus on once tasks in #1 and #2 are completed.
Priority planning is not rocket science. The hardest part is just getting started and using it consistently. At Reverie, we suggest starting small. Use Priority Planning first to plan your day. Try this out for a week or two. Once you feel you have mastered this practice, begin using it to plan out your week, and then eventually your month. Before you know it, you can use Priority Planning to map out and plan high-level goals and tasks you want to accomplish in a year.