The One Prioritization Method That Will Boost Your Productivity and Focus

Credit to Joel Muniz on Unsplash

How does this benefit you?

Before we get to the methodology, I want to explain why it is important, and how it can benefit you.

How to Use a Ranking Table

There are 5 simple steps:

1. List all your tasks in separate rows

As an example, we can take selecting a book to read during free time. Each task is then reading a separate book.

Figure 1. Initial ranking table with rows

2. List out criteria as new columns in the table

Now, we want to identify criteria to indicate what is important to us. These are written out in the form of columns in the table.

  • Financial application in the near term,
  • Room for personal growth, and
  • The length of the book (the shorter the better)
  • Discussability (level of controversy for social inquiry)
  • Level of escapism (with the aim for relaxation)
  • Etc.
  1. “What is your ultimate goal right now?” It could be to become more social, more financially stable, or something else.
  2. What abstract features of the task are aligned with your goal (e.g. provide the most value)?
  3. What concrete features are aligned with your goal?
Figure 2. Ranking table with columnal criteria

3. Score each task for each column

You have to evaluate each task in the view of each criteria and give it a score of importance.

Figure 3. Ranking table with score for each column

4. Select your top 3 to work on today

From there, you can tally up the score for each task, and select which your top 3 tasks are for the day.

Figure 4. Tallied ranking table with final ranks.

5. Select your top 1 to work on right now

From these three tasks, you can then select 1 to work on right now. Most likely, that will be the topmost ranked item.

Do it enough and develop your intuition

What I love about this method is that you do not have to rely on it forever. When you do this enough, you start to develop an intuition for what is important and should be worked on right now.

Conclusion

The ranking table can help you isolate the most important task for you at any given point in time. By practicing this method, you can perform your ranking quickly and become confident and focused in your work. This amplifies your productivity and satisfaction in your work.

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Justin San Juan

Justin San Juan

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Award-Winning Software Engineer | Business and Web Consultant