Planning and prioritizing

Self-help guide
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Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

Alexander Graham Bell

It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.

Bruce Lee

Planning means deciding what tasks you need to do. Prioritizing is establishing the list of tasks you have to do in order of importance and urgency. We all have only limited time for what we have to do, in a day, in a week, in a month, and so on. In a given time, you can only do a certain number of tasks, that’s why you need to prioritize. Planning and prioritizing are key skills for academic and professional success.

    Tips & Techniques    


Use a diary or scheduling assistant (MS Office tools at GIHE) to plan out the things you need to get done for today, tomorrow, this week, this month, and include their deadlines.
Categorize your list, for example, single tasks, recurring tasks, or group projects.
Write daily to-do lists the evening before. Your brain will start thinking about the tasks at a subconscious level, you will not even be aware of it, but you will be better prepared than if you spend the first 10 minutes of every day creating a to-do list.

Think about these questions:
How much time and resources will the task require?
What are the acceptable success criteria? For you, for GIHE?
Is your timeline realistic and feasible?
What are the milestones for each task?
Now you have a list of all your tasks with details about each deadline and effort you need to put in your work.


Go through your list and define the relative importance or urgency of each task by asking yourself these questions:
Is this an urgent priority with a deadline coming soon? For example, a task you need to do for tomorrow.
Is this a crucial priority but no pressing deadline? For example, a task that is due for the next week.
Is this a non-obligatory task? For example, something without deadlines and no consequences if it’s not done.
Try the Eisenhower matrix.

What are the benefits of prioritizing?

You reduce your stress and increase your productivity and motivation.
You become explicitly aware of the most important tasks to complete first.
You allow more time to complete the important tasks and free up time to relax.
You reduce the risk of procrastination by following your plan of work.

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