Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prioritizing Tasks

I guess you could say this is the sister post to my last post regarding accomplishing goals. One way to accomplish goals is to prioritize the tasks needed to get to those goals.

Take, for example, the goal of making the Dean's List. What tasks were needed to accomplish that goal? Good note taking, studying, class attendance, research for papers. In priority - 1) attend class, 2) take good notes, 3) use the notes and study guides the prof published to study for the exams, and 4) use the class notes and readings for the class to research and write the papers. It does no good to set a goal if you have no idea how to get there. Prioritizing your tasks gives you an idea of how to get there.

How does one prioritize? What's the most important thing? In the case of my making the Dean's list, the most important thing was to go to class. The most important thing may often seem like a "Well, duh!" We often tend to overlook the most simple things. The next most important task was to take good notes.

Do you have a goal you want to accomplish? Sit down and write that goal at the top of a piece of paper. Now, starting from the bottom up, make half-dollar sized circles leading up to your goal. These are your "stepping stones" or the tasks you are prioritizing. The most important one will be at the bottom - where you start.

Perhaps you want to save $100 a month. That's your goal and that goes at the top of your page. Your very first stepping stone would be "$10 in savings envelope by (date)". The next stepping stone would either be another $10 and the date or an increase (by $1 or $2) and the date. Figure out how many stepping stones you will need and fill them in. Once you have done that stepping stone (task), cross it off. Soon, all your stepping stones will be crossed off and you will have accomplished your goal.

Keep those tasks small and workable. Don't set huge tasks for yourself like "get A on first exam" or "save $100 from first paycheck". Start out small - "get B on first exam", "save $20 from first paycheck". There should be a logical order to your tasks - follow it.

Don't get discouraged if you get sidetracked along the way. We all do. Take a deep breath, regroup, and move forward. Abraham Lincoln once said, "I am not so concerned that you have fallen, I am concerned that you rise and move on" (loosely paraphrased). The main thing is that you are moving forward - whether it is with your education or other things you want to do in life. Resolve to keep moving forward.

A quick shout out to the nontrads at PSCC in Blount County - Hey, guys!! Hugs!!

Always remember to keep moving forward toward accomplishing your goals! Stay tuned . . .

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