Planning is a very important aspect of life, whether you are a student, an employee, an executive, a manager, an investor, an entrepreneur, or even a homemaker. It is a method to show how to focus on the goal you have set for yourself. Planning can help you to achieve that goal even while making provisions for unforeseen occurrences in the process.
One can break the long term plans to daily and weekly plans to assess if our tasks are on schedule. But planning is done only after analyzing priorities.
There is always an option of going with the flow. But life is very long and may cause severe distress if it is not lived according to some plans. The only time when prioritization can be given the least importance is when you are on vacation.
Successful people arrest initiative and try to achieve goals within a period through an organization. The organization is possible only on prioritization.
Prioritizing your tasks
Weekly planning involves setting up action plans throughout the week. All tasks do not carry equal importance. Some need your immediate attention. Some tasks are important but can be done later.
Some are not even important, and you need not waste your time on such tasks at all. To establish these plans prioritizing is very important.
How to prioritize
So how to decide which task is important and which is not? Here are a few basic points to understand prioritizing better.
1. Find what you value in life most
Priority can be based on the values you hold dear. The ones you value most can come at the top of the order, and others can follow based on the values you place on them.
Some values that you hold dear may be one or many of these — freedom, joy, adventure, family, relationships, faith, learning, teaching, charity, and many more.
2. What are your goals?
You can prioritize based on the goals you have set for yourself.
The goals could be concerning business setups, management issues, marketing strategies, teaching, domestic jobs, and more. The biggest goal which you have set for yourself will be given the first preference. Smaller goals can be given priority in the order of your preference for those goals.
Once you have decided on your priorities, you can apply the priorities to your weekly planning diary.
Here are a few steps to follow:
Step 1: Check bigger goals and understand the goals for the week
Priorities for your week will ultimately depend on the goals you have set to achieve. So you need first to assess the following before you start prioritizing for the week.
- Check out yearly goals and determine what part of it should be done this week
- Check the monthly priorities to mark the task for the week clearly
For example, if you wish to launch a new product – a new soap. And you want to do this within one year.
- Yearly goal (January – December): would be launching the soap
- The monthly goal for August would be marketing the product
- Your weekly goal could be promoting the product and the action plan for the same
Step 2: List all the tasks you need to do this week
- Continuing the above example, you can list the tasks that need to be done to promote the product in a particular area during the week.
A sample product promotion plan could involve tasks surrounding promotion on social media through posts, product contests; launching the product during events and promoting the product by placing banners, etc., at some prominent stores in a locality or across the country.
- If you are a student, then plan for the week, based on upcoming tests, assignment deadlines or schedules provided by the teacher.
- Homemakers may require groceries, and they can list and source them for one week. For example, vegetables can be purchased for the week ahead and stored in the fridge.
Step 3: Classification
Prioritizing for the week’s tasks should focus on these factors, as well.
- Determining the day of the week and time you are going to work on the job.
Similar tasks can be classified under a specific group
- One big job per day in the week can be planned so you can be focused to complete the job
Once the tasks are listed out, classify them under the following heads:
- First urgent tasks
- Next important ones
- Things that have not reached their deadline
- Things that need not be done
Prioritization at Work, School, Home
As a leader, you will find it difficult to plan with constant change in orders and different market situations.
However, well planned, you are there is an unknown factor that may have a diverse effect on your project. But planning needs to be done with known factors to manage time and team.
- All projects, complex or simple – need to be done by prioritizing
- Prioritizing can help you plan how to achieve your
small termand long term goals
- Start making the list and you are on:
- Make weekly plans on the weekend and implement them in the coming week
- Make a list of priorities
- Rank them on the basis of how urgent they are
- Keep your list flexible for any changes or exigencies
- In case you come across new urgent ones, just add them on how important or less important it is
- Write down how you will achieve each priority – Action Plan
- Activities that can help you get there
Continuing the example of product launch
On the first day priority can be given for posting on the social media. The next day can be allocated to announcing and conducting a social media contest to grab attention.
The following days can be used for promoting the product through direct interaction with customers.
- Monday – Post on Google, Facebook and Twitter
- Tuesday – Social Media Contest
- Wednesday – Preview of product on media
- Thursday and Friday promotions in various stores through the banner, handouts, etc., mentioning what the product is about and when it will be released in the market.
- Saturday – Event with info session at popular locations – either supermarket, retail stores or even event locations
Students have their work cut out throughout the year. Once the yearly plan of obtaining a diploma/certificate is made, the student can break it into weekly tasks and follow them based on these priorities:
- Give the priority to the assignments whose due dates are fast approaching
- In case the assignment is a long one to be completed over a period of time, a weekly schedule can be prepared
- If an exam is coming up, put it at the top of the list
Domestic work involves cooking, washing, cleaning, meeting near and dear ones
- Food planning could be the first priority
- Planning household tasks like washing clothes, cleaning, dusting, etc., could be prioritized according to the time you can give to these tasks
Example you cannot allot a whole Sunday for cleaning the house, do it in bits like a room per day
- Priorities can be set to visit friends/relatives or entertain them at home
There are so many tasks to be completed to achieve our goals. But the time at our disposal is short. The best way to achieve our goals is to prioritize these tasks in a manner of importance. Each person, student, employee, entrepreneur or a home maker, has a different priority. Learning and understanding this will help any person to reach his goal faster and without failure.