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How Do You Need To Prioritize Tasks in Order to Achieve Your Goals

Updated on October 1, 2010

Setting goals is not difficult. Sure, it's tough to figure out what you want from life but once you've started to get any idea then it's easy to set a goal to help you get what you want. The tough part is actually achieving your goals. In order to do that, you need to figure out which tasks must be completed to accomplish the goal. Then you need to prioritize those tasks in order to efficiently get your goal completed.

Here are the steps that you should follow to meet your goals:

  • Ask yourself what your big goal is. You need to start with a clearly defined goal. You should be able to state your goal in a single sentence. If you can't do that then you have not sufficiently defined your goal. Your goal might be specific (I'd like to read 25 books this year) or general (I want to read more) but it must be stated in a single sentence. If you come up with a general goal, work with it until you've made it specific because that's how you'll know that you've achieved it.
  • Brainstorm a list of tasks that must be accomplished in order to meet your goal. You need to know exactly what you need to do in order to accomplish your goal. This means that you work it out on paper before you do anything else. Figure out each little task that needs to be completed in order for the goal to work. For example, if your goal is to read 25 books in one year then your tasks will include reading one book every two weeks, finding 25 books to read, making sure that you have access to those books by getting a library card or figuring out who you can borrow them from, etc.
  • Go through your list of goals and make sure that every single one of them is crucial to meeting your goal. You need to make sure that you haven't added unnecessary tasks on to your list that don't need to be there. The fewer the tasks there are, the more likely it is that you're going to accomplish your goal. For example, you might have on your task list that you need to keep a reading journal. Is this crucial to making sure that you read the 25 books? Although you might need a system of keeping track of the number of books that you've read, you probably don't need a full reading journal so take it off of the task list.
  • Rank the tasks in the order that they need to be done. You will discover that there are some tasks that you need to complete before you are able to do others. For example, if you need to get a library card then you'll need to do that before you can check out 25 books. See if this adds any new tasks that you didn't think of. For example, getting a library card might require compiling some proof-of-address forms and going to the local library to fill out an application. Figuring out which steps must be done first helps you to know where to start. If there are items that don't fall into a specific timeline, figure out during which step you'd most like to do them.
  • Ask yourself if anything needs to be done right now. This week. This month. Within the next six months. Even after you've made your general timeline, you need to see if there are specific deadlines that must be met. For example, if you're going to stick to reading one book every two weeks then the first book must be complete within the next two weeks.
  • See if there are any tasks that you can delegate to someone else. You don't have to complete all of your goals on your own. There are things that other people can do that can help you to meet your goals. For example, you need to find 25 different books to read. Could you ask five different friends to each find five books from their personal collections? Delegating this task would save you time because you wouldn't have to go to the library or figure out what you wanted to read.
  • Re-write your list and include goal dates. You might even want to get out a calendar and work with it to make sure that you're going to meet your goal within the time that you've decided to meet it. This is the final step in prioritizing all of your tasks. You'll be able to see if any of your priorities should be shifted in order to make sure that you'll meet your goal.
  • Track your success. Tracking how well you're doing will help you to stay on track. You can follow your calendar or list to make sure that you're staying on task. When you start to get overwhelmed, as you inevitably well, turn back to your tasks and see what the next priority is.

The example used in this post is a simple one. However the same process will work for prioritizing the tasks for much bigger goals as well. Identify what you need to do to achieve your goal, make sure that you aren't doing things that are unnecessary, create a timeline, delegate what you can and track your success. This should work to make you meet more goals than ever before.


Submit a Comment

  • Ruby H Rose profile image

    Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

    Asking ourselves the right questions, certainly helps. Thanks for a wonderful hub on the priority of any given task.

  • Erich Lagasse profile image

    Erich Lagasse 6 years ago

    Not only will this help you prioritize, but you will also be more organized. Furthermore, you will learn how to keep things simple. For further reading, we recently posted a few tips that will help you stick to your objectives, even when your boss is a distraction. I hope it helps. - Erich

  • treasuresyw profile image

    treasuresyw 8 years ago from Savannah, GA

    These tips are excellent and doable. As I was reading I thought about the long list of goals I have. I will have to break mine up into smaller steps. Thanks for sharing this. I will bookmark it to refer back. Peace

  • nanospeck profile image

    Akhil Anil 8 years ago

    Good Hub Kathryn, u told wht i always wanted to hear!

  • Ann Nonymous profile image

    Ann Nonymous 8 years ago from Virginia

    Excellent advice, Kathryn and exactly what I needed to hear!