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7 Types of Task Prioritization

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Task prioritization is the process of allocating resources such as time and money to tasks. Most organizations and individuals have a potential list of tasks that far exceeds resources such as time. As such, it is common for low priority tasks to be discarded or queued with little chance of every being completed. This is natural and productive as it ensures that time is spent on things that are urgent or important. The following are common types of task prioritization.


Investing in the tasks that are important to your long term strategy. For example, a developer who is coding a product they believe will be valuable who prioritizes this work above all else for a period of time.


Investing in the tasks that are most likely to be quick wins. For example, a salesperson who spends 90% of their time on opportunities and proposals most likely to close this month.


Establishing principles that guide your selection of tasks. For example, a developer who has a principle to code for at least 3 hours a day and spend at least 2 hours with their family at night.


Systems or tools that score tasks based on their urgency, importance and value.


If you ask clients to rank tasks according to a system, they typically rate everything as urgent and important. It is often more productive to strictly rank tasks such that only one task can be selected as most urgent, 2nd most urgent and so on.

Last Responsible Moment

Leaving tasks until they have to be done. For example, a consultant who finds that clients often change requirements such that it is more efficient to start tasks with just enough time to deliver to schedule.


Completing the tasks that are the most politically urgent on a given day.
Overview: Task Prioritization
The process of assigning time and other resources to tasks.
Related Concepts
Next: Last Responsible Moment
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Parkinsons Law
Personal Productivity
Productivity Benefits
Rabbit Hole
Respect For Time
Schedule Compression
Single Tasking
Time Blocking
Time Boxing
Time Efficiency
Time Pressure
Time Sink
Time Strengths
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