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How to Prioritize Projects When Everything is High Priority

Written by: David Miller

How was your day? Busy? 24 hours just doesn’t seem to be enough, does it?

The day is drawing to a close and you look at your watch and your mind screams: Where did all the time go!

It is almost tragic that the time we need is not available to us in the right manner. If only it were in the right design and template, things would have been so much easier. Let me explain, I’ll conjure up Bob for this.

Bob is a project manager working for an IT company. He gets up at six. He reads newspapers, Tech Magazines (half-heartedly), gets ready for office by 7.30. On reaching the office at 8, he goes through Emails, the PM software and overview the KPIs related to project progress, prepares to-do lists, meetings with team members delegate tasks, etc.

Through the day he coordinates with his team, (including offshore members) and attends meetings with his boss, department heads and lead engineers. As you can see this is not much of a sitting down job. He has to maintain his attitude and energy levels throughout the day.

The clock ticks 6 pm and Bob is wondering how he spent the day. He lost track somewhere and now he is focusing solely on the tasks list. This carries on for a few days and the KPIs shows that the project is dragging. Bob stirs into action. Now he must urgently PRIORITIZE. What is important, what can be deferred, which meetings/appointments can be canceled, which tasks require constant attention?

He starts answering one by one – prioritizing tasks efficiently.

Kids prioritize their homework given by their tetchy teachers over others, adults plan their time for work, family, friends, and leisure – or rather just go with the flow. Nevertheless, everyone prioritizes.  There is a plan and there is an effort to execute it.

The case of Bob does not quite end there. He is faced with another question now. What will he do if everything is important?

He will have to split the important into:

  1. Crisis!
  2. Urgent
  3. Important
  4. Substantial

He’ll mostly rub off the 4th category. Nevertheless, he is doing it.

Prioritizing in a stressful environment requires getting clear on the head right from the beginning.

So, How Do Your Prioritize Projects When Everything Is High Priority?

In situations everything is high priority, how do you make sure you get everything done on time? We cover a few ways for you to achieve this hassle-free. Let’s dig in!

1.   Have a clear, comprehensive list.

To sort tasks in a specific order, the list of tasks should be kept ready. Experienced project managers in the current day use project management software to sort and prioritize tasks. A comprehensive dropdown of progress if made available on each project/task will help to set out a detailed plan.

Takeaway: Maintain a list of important tasks and arrange them according to their priority to ensure you complete all work on time.

2.   Communicate and Collaborate with the team

In matters requiring hands-on assistance of engineers/other technicians, a manager will need to seek their opinion and plan accordingly. In situations where the physical presence of the team members is not available, a robust system for communication should be in place.

So, it is ideal to choose a project management software that allows you to:

  • Give feedback on individual tasks
  • Stay in the loop via email integration
  • Set alerts for important project deadlines
  • Share files easily with your team or clients
  • Plan project milestones with the team easily

…and a lot more!

Takeaway: Choose a project management software that offers team collaboration features to ensure all team members are in the loop regarding any project changes.

3.   Classify the Priorities and be pragmatic

Just as Bob did, identify the ones that need immediate attention and based on their rank or score, update the list. Also, it is always advisable to start with the lengthier task. All this, while keeping up the rational thought on the result. If the task at hand is not achievable or if you’ve gone far past the timeline, be realistic on whether or not to move forward with it.

Takeaway: Prioritize the already prioritized! Arrange all priority projects/tasks based on their deadlines to make execution easy.

4.   Documenting and Checking off

Whether you are doing a list of your chores or a to-do list in the workplace, it is suggested that you respect it. Keep the list clear and check off the completed tasks and document their standing.

Often overlooked, documentation is of great significance when it comes to learning from mistakes. The challenges faced in the course of the project can be accumulated as a resource to be applied in future engagements.

Takeaway: Keep tabs on all ongoing project/task executions to ensure all priority work is completed in the set deadline.

Prioritize Projects Easily with Project Management Software!

A complete project management system is the ideal solution to prioritizing all priority work. If all your projects are on priority, it is important to classify them in a manner to make sure all of them are completed on or before the set deadline.

Remember the tips mentioned in this blog and choose a robust project management software, that offers all the needed features to organize all priority work efficiently.

About the author: David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in project management software helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in workflows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be viewed on ProProfs Project.

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