How to Set Priorities Right: 7 Tips for Better Organizing and Prioritizing

It is never easy to set priorities, even for those, who are Pros in achieving different kinds of goals.

You’ve already read a bunch of posts on how to stay motivated, get your work done quicker, and increase your productivity.

Still, time passes by and study workload is neither pleasant, nor interesting, and, what is even worse, nor accomplished.

Chances are, you’ve started with the wrong end of the task chain.

The smartest thing you can do is to revise the way you set your priorities. There are several reasons why you’d better do it now.


Why You Should Set Priorities

“If you aim at doing everything, you’ll end up doing nothing”, the saying goes.

That is why setting priorities right is crucial for changing your dreams into reality.

First of all, you will focus on the key tasks that need to be done in order to get what you want.

Secondly, it will allow you to see what blocks your way to success, and how to weed it out.

Thirdly, prioritizing will narrow the spheres of your activity. In other words, you will start concentrating only on those tasks that are strategically important.

Pretty soon you will see that Pareto principle 20/80 does work. As a bonus, you’ll get your skills honed, and figure out the new ones you need to develop in order to succeed.

However, it is never easy to set priorities straight. If you used to do-it-all-at-the-same-time approach, It may seem like a bit of a headache.  

At Felix Math we have some tips to make it less painful.

Try these effective ways you can use in order to figure out, evaluate, and set priorities, and make the most of your time work for you!


figure out what's important to set priorities


In order to set priorities, you need to know what is truly important for you, and then focus on that.

Have a look on these exercises you can do in order to figure it out.


Covey Quadrants

Take a piece of paper, and draw 2 intersecting axes, label one as Urgent and another as Important.

In the top left box to list all of the tasks to do ASAP. Set the deadlines in order to see if you manage to do it on time.

Use the top right box for the tasks that are not urgent but still important. List here all of your long term strategies.

Bottom left space is for the things that some wants now but they do not really have a particular importance for you. Do them when you need some time to rest from your big rock.

Write all not urgent and not important things to do in the bottom right box. Let them be your activities when you are tired of important and time pressured ones.

Print out several copies of covey quadrant sheet and create one for a month, week, and day.

In this way, it will be easier to set short and long term goals, manage your time, and use the energy wisely.


Create to-don’t list

In order to set priorities, you have to find out what is absolutely NOT important to you but you still spend a lot of time on it.

Take your time, think about it, and write it down — this will be your to-avoid list.

Feel like you should quit Facebooking or YouTubing? Put it there.

Addicted to flash online games which consume more than 5 minutes? Put it there.

Revise this list from time to time, and see if you’re making any progress.


create these lists for better prioritizing


  • 5 Minutes List

During the day you have at least 30 minutes of completely free time which is divided into 4-5-6 minute long intervals.

How long did you wait for the bus to come? Approximately 5-7 minutes. What did you do?

Most likely, you’ve listened to the music or stared at the traffic.

However, if you create the list of 5-minute things to do, you’d be able to do something really important.

For example, you can learn at least 10 new words in a foreign language, or snap a math problem with FelixMath app and be ready with the part of your homework!


  • Daily List

Write down all the things you have to do today.

Highlight them with the red, yellow, and green for urgent, not urgent, and bonus tasks, accordingly.

Cross them out when you completed the mission.

In this way, you’ll become quicker in evaluating and setting your priorities on a daily basis!


  • Calendarize it!

You need time to develop any new habit.

Usually, it takes up to one month to become comfortable with doing something new.

Mark in the calendar every day you’ve completed all the tasks. The point is to keep the chain marked with red unbroken!


  • Structure the Procrastination

Sometimes, idling can be incredibly productive!

You definitely have a lot of fun and pleasant things to do that you put off every day just because “it’s not a right time”.

Start your Procrastination List, and fill it with the tasks that you can accomplish almost effortlessly.

Trick: look at the quadrant with not urgent/not important tasks, some of them may be your procrastinating activities!   



review and reflect on the set priorities


While keeping the lists of things is important in order to see what you need to do, reflecting and analyzing your workload and the way you set priorities is crucial in order to see if it really works.

Spend some time during the week revising if you did everything you wanted, if you’ve met the deadline while doing this or that task, and if all of the priorities are still priorities.

Don’t be afraid to change or replace it if you see that something is not working as good as you want.

All in all, setting priorities is not about engraving them on the rock and following them blindly.

Setting priorities means: to find the most effective way to achieve your goals by means of accomplishing the necessary tasks. 


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