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How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively When Everything Feels Important

How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively When Everything Feels Important

Students have lots on their plates these days. Their workload is increasing, and for a high-achieving student to score the grades they want, they need to have at least 25 hours in a day.

Prioritizing is a skill, not a talent, and hence, can be acquired. Freshers especially struggle with this since everything seems important in your first year, and it’s hard to draw the line.

In this article, we will help you understand how to prioritize tasks effectively, how to negotiate with yourself and your professors and how to keep your performance high even if you don’t have the time for it. Let’s get right into it!

How to Prioritize Tasks How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively When Everything Feels Important

Whether you are a first-year student or soon-to-be graduate, you may struggle with all the endless assignments, projects, and deadlines. When you have too much on your plate, it’s good to take note of the writing services you can use. Outsourcing writing, editing, or proofreading essays is an amazing way to take some weight off your shoulders and focus on more burning tasks. Sometimes, students might even choose to pay for essay help to manage their workload more effectively. Remember about test prep services as well. Quizlet is a convenient app for flashcards that you can use before your exams or to refresh your memory before a minor assessment. Evernote can be transformative in the way you take notes. Due to its convenient filing system, you will never get lost in your notebooks again.

Especially for freshers, everything seems important. But the truth is, some professors may give you more leeway than others. Yet, that knowledge only comes with experience. Before you get that experience, you must learn how to prioritize your tasks or assignments without leaving anything behind.

Set clear goals

Setting goals for your studies can help you stay motivated and manage all the tasks you need to complete.

It’s vital to distinguish between long-term and short-term plans because they have dissimilar purposes. Long-term plans will affect your motivation and sense of purpose, while short-term goals will help you better manage the current situation.

Short-term goals may refer to completing an assignment or doing a set amount of prep for a test.

A long-term goal may be to enhance your GPA or learn a foreign language.

Remember that for your goals to be efficient, they must be measurable and clear. For example, rather than saying, ‘I want to improve my GPA,’ say, ‘I want to improve my GPA by 0,5 points.’

Use the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is one of the most well-known and efficient methods for prioritizing tasks. To use it, divide your tasks into four categories:

  • Urgent and important.
  • Important but not urgent.
  • Urgent but not important.
  • Not urgent and not important.

Categorizing your assignments in this way will help you clearly see what needs to be done and what can wait. If you see that the first category has too many tasks to manage on your own, refer to section one and find some ways to outsource your assignments.

Eisenhower How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively When Everything Feels Important

When we see a task like ‘write an essay’ or ‘prepare a presentation,’ it may feel too hard to manage all at once. This is why it’s important to break these assignments apart and complete them step by step. If you have an essay due in a week, you may feel overwhelmed, and this is when people tend to procrastinate. However, if you break it into smaller assignments, here’s what it may look like:

  1. Read the assignment & choose a topic
  2. Conduct research & organize sources
  3. Write an outline & brainstorm each section
  4. Write the body sections
  5. Write intro & conclusion
  6. Format references & citations
  7. Proofread the paper & submit

As you break this task into smaller chunks, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s not that much. This example involves seven days of prep; however, you may combine some days, like the first two, to finish earlier and still have some time to yourself.

Overall, it’s a very efficient method of making assignments seem more doable and less intimidating.

This is one of those obvious tips that many students unfortunately ignore. If you have a good rapport with your classmates, they will always tell you what is to be done and what the professor’s requirements are. Yet, you can’t always rely on others since people make mistakes.

Always pay attention in class, especially when the professor is giving out homework or instructions for it. You never know what specific information you may need in the future, so write down everything.

If your professor allows, pull out your phone and record the whole lecture. This may be useful in addition to the notes you are taking if you need help to read your own handwriting or if something needs to be clarified.

In line with the previous advice, remember to use a physical planner or a digital one. Writing your assignments down is vital, but it’s also important to write them down in appropriate places. Noting your homework on a loose piece of paper that you put inside your notebook is a sure way to lose it.

On the contrary, having a dedicated planner for your schedule, homework, and all the professors’ names (remember that!) will ensure that you’re always on top of your schedule.

Alternatively, you can use a digital planner like MyStudyLife, Notion, or Trello. The best part about planner apps is that they help you prioritize. You can set reminders for deadlines, insert useful links, and set priorities for each assignment.

Obviously, it’s one of those things that is easier said than done, but we have to mention it. Procrastination is the silent killer of productivity. It rots your mind from the inside, paralyzing all your efforts to be a good student.

Procrastination often stems from perfectionism or fear. People can’t start the assignment because they fear the final result will be imperfect. Well, there’s only one solution to this problem – you have to start. There’s nothing more ominous than gazing at an empty page, so you have to fill it up with something. Perfection is for robots. Humans are made imperfect, so don’t be afraid of imperfection.

Instead, set aside some time for proofreading and revising your work. This will bring it as close as possible to perfection.

Knowing when to prioritize is one of the biggest factors that determine students’ success. Yet, you can’t learn without making some mistakes along the way. Especially in your first year of studies, you will lose a few class notes, miss a few deadlines, and mix up professors’ names. But it’s a natural way of learning.

Remember to take diligent notes and write down everything your professor says. Learn to prioritize using the Eisenhower Matrix.

Setting clear, measurable goals will help you stick to them and keep your motivation high. Remember to break your tasks into smaller, more achievable chunks. This is an amazing way of beating procrastination and tricking a perfectionist’s brain.

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