How an Entrepreneur Should Prioritize Tasks
November 23, 2022
How should an entrepreneur prioritize tasks?
- Consolidate your tasks in one list.
- Set overarching SMART goals.
- Determine what’s important vs. what’s urgent.
- Find the balance between focused and flexible.
- Influence others to prioritize tasks the same way.
Whether you’re starting, running or growing a business, your schedule is probably chock-full of tasks that regularly add up, pile up, and overwhelm. You might ask yourself how an entrepreneur should prioritize tasks in order to optimize the way he or she does things.
Well, look no further. We’ve put together a step-by-step list of the best techniques below:
Consolidate your tasks in one list
The most effective prioritization strategies start with a simple to-do list. Not only does compiling your tasks help you determine what they are, doing so also gets you in a mindset where you’re ready to face the day and accomplish some goals.
Write down your tasks, big and small, and don’t worry about the order in which they appear on your list yet. Expect the list to grow as you keep working on it, and keep it somewhere close by, so you don’t lose track of it.
Set overarching SMART goals
More than a way to streamline groups into aiming for the same things, creating SMART goals for your own individual use is a great way to set your priorities straight.
Keep the characteristics—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound—in mind as you create your professional and personal goals. Then, justify each of your tasks by looking at them through your SMART goal lens. In other words, determine how accomplishing each task is going to contribute to the overall process of achieving one or more goals.
Determine what’s important vs. what’s urgent
The Urgent-Important Matrix categorizes tasks to help you determine the order in which to finish them, remind you of your umbrella goals, and keep track of what really matters.
Now that you’ve contextualized your aspirations through SMART goals, you have a clearer picture of what’s important to you. However, some tasks are less important but required; in other words, they’re urgent.
Sometimes there’s an overlap—tasks that are both important and urgent—and sometimes tasks exist for you to do, but are neither crucial nor approaching their deadline. If you’re the type of person with a lot on their plate (and let’s face it, who isn’t), this matrix can help you decide what to finish first.
Find the balance between focused and flexible
Once you know the order in which you should do your tasks, it’s time to get to them. That’s where focus comes in. Minimize distractions to the best of your ability, work on one task at a time, and leave the non-task activities behind for the moment.
With that said, however, life is full of surprises. You may think you’ll be finishing that blogpost or launching your newest product today, then suddenly the Wi-Fi goes down, or an emergency happens at home. You have to leave room for flexibility in your schedule, because you can never really predict all that will happen in a day.
Finding the balance between dedicating your time to a task and being flexible in the face of unforeseen events will set you apart as an effective and level headed leader.
Influence others to prioritize tasks the same way
Speaking of leaders… one of the best ways to ensure you accomplish your tasks is to make sure others involved are on the same page. That means you should all be working towards the same SMART goals, and preferably the same connotations about what’s important and what’s urgent.
Once you’ve ensured this, you won’t be afraid to delegate tasks since you know that your team values the same things you do and will work just as hard to accomplish your business goals.
Prioritizing is important to help you accomplish your tasks efficiently. Now that you know how an entrepreneur should prioritize tasks, we encourage you to teach others to do the same. Whether they’re your teammates or fellow entrepreneurs, they’re sure to learn a thing or two from your advice.