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Learning how to prioritise work is an essential capability to develop if you want to be more productive at work.  Prioritising your workload is important if you want to get more of your important work done without the stress and distraction.

Knowing how to prioritise work affects what results you can achieve at work and in life.  If you want to improve performance and productivity at work, you need to get your priorities right.  How you prioritise work will determine whether you have a productive day or an unproductive day.

Learning how to prioritise your most important work will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by your workload.  Prioritising will help you simplify your workload so you can invest your time, energy and focus on your biggest priorities.

If you currently have a hundred things on your to-do list, learning how to prioritise when everything’s important can be a challenge.  But there is a big difference between busyness and being productive.  Using the prioritisation technique I’m about to share will help you accomplish more in less time.

Why prioritise? When you can’t prioritise your time, energy and focus, it’s easy to feel scattered, distracted and overwhelmed.  When you learn how to prioritise your work you feel calmer, less stressed, more focused and more productive.

In this article I’ll share 6 ways on how to prioritise work so you can stay focused and get more of your most important work done.

The importance of prioritising workload    

Prioritising your workload is essential if you want to guarantee having a productive day every day.  Prioritising makes you more focused, more effective and more productive at work.

Being able to prioritise effectively at work ensures you have clarity up front about your most important tasks each day.  Prioritising helps you stay focused and productive at work, rather than distracted and stressed.

Setting workload priorities each day helps you identify and maintain focus on achieving your most important activities first.  Setting priorities at work also ensures you don’t get overwhelmed with tasks, allowing your energy and motivation to stay high throughout the day.

Not prioritising can add stress to your work life, and make you feel like you don’t have enough time.  The process of prioritising work is simple, but prioritising effectively takes commitment and daily focus.

How to prioritise work and stay focused 

Here are 6 ways on how to prioritise work and stay focused.

1. Prioritise your goals

The fist step to improve prioritisation at work is to prioritise your goals.  Prioritising your goals helps you get clear up front about what results you want to achieve so you can prioritise your workload accordingly.

When you are clear on the specific goal or outcome you want to achieve by a specific deadline it makes it simpler to prioritise your work.  You know which tasks should be prioritised and which ones should be eliminated.

This helps simplify how you should prioritise your workload each day for maximum effectiveness and productivity.

Having clear goals to work towards helps you prioritise your most important tasks and manage your workload so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Learn more about effective goal setting.

2. Make a prioritised task list

To ensure you prioritise your workload in the most effective way start by making a prioritised task list.  Use your goals to guide your daily priorities.

Write down all your tasks and then identify your 3-5 biggest work priorities.  Prioritise based on importance and the results those tasks will achieve.

There are always lots of work activities you could undertake and your priorities may change.   But, identifying only biggest work prioritise helps you manage your workload and ensures you focus on the activities that make the biggest difference.

You can plan your work priorities the night before to ensure you start the day focused and ready to take action.

Read also: 6 habits of highly productive people

3. Review your workload priorities in the morning  

Every morning it’s important to take some time to review your priorities for the day.  Blocking out time to clarify your priorities for the day will ensure you start the day focused and productive.

Reviewing your priorities for the day ensures you’re ready to take action on your most important activities.  It also ensures you create your most productive day, rather than reacting to your day.

You may need to get up slightly earlier or find a quiet space to review your workload priorities .  But, that fifteen minutes of planning time can save you hours of wasted time, and ensure you get your most important work done.

Read also: How to stay productive at work

4. Prioritise based on importance and outcomes 

It’s easy to feel like everything is a priority at work.  But, learning how to prioritise based on task importance and results will transform your productivity at work.

Start by going through your task list for the day.  Identify the three or four most important activities based on the results doing those activities will achieve.

When you start prioritising work based on results, you will free up more time and increase your productivity at work.

To learn how to prioritise work to achieve bigger results, imagine what difference completing your important tasks will make.  Imagine the outcome of completing your biggest priorities.

When you identify the activities that will produce the biggest results it’s easier to prioritise your workload.

Read also: How to be more productive at work 

5. Take action on your biggest priority

Identifying your biggest three or four priorities at work is often the easy part.  Identifying your number one priority can be the difficult part.  To help you clarify your biggest priority imagine only doing one crucially important thing that day.

This thinking exercise will help you identify the one activity that will produce the biggest result.  This should be an activity that is exciting and motivating.  An activity that will help you make productive progress towards your goals.

Once you’ve identified this priority, take action and work on the activity until completed.

If you’re not excited and motivated to take action on your biggest priority, you may need to review your priority list.

6. Celebrate progress 

To stay focused and motivated on your biggest work priorities it’s important to celebrate progress at the end of each day.  Write down three things that you achieved that day, and the difference achieving those results made.

It’s also important to review what worked and what didn’t work.  This will ensure you always identify the right work priorities, and that you don’t have too many or too few priorities.


There are lots of methods for learning how to prioritise work and stay focused.  These productivity tips will ensure you always prioritise your workload based on the results you want to achieve.

They will help you reduce stress and distraction and ensure every day is a productive one.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your number one tip on how to prioritise tasks at work?

Let me know in the comments.

More articles on prioritisation

8 time management tips to manage time effectively 

Being more productive: 9 productivity tips 

How to stay focused: 10 tips to improve focus

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a productivity coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK.  He is the Founder of productivity coaching company Lucemi Consulting.  Mark provides productivity coaching programs to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Colchester, London, Essex, Suffolk and across the UK.

Discover the benefits of working with a productivity coach and the benefits of productivity coaching.

Get more articles, tips and tools to help you simplify your time to multiply your results on the blog.

Sign up to my Time For What Matters newsletter to get more tips on prioritisation and being more productive.

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