Prioritize tasks to keep up with school work

Students are busy and frequently have to manage multiple priorities. When you move into the workplace priority management is an essential skill, so learning to prioritize as a student will benefit you, not only now, but in the future as well. If you are an adult student then priority management is absolutely essential.

Determining what is important

In order to prioritize you have to determine what is important; but how do you measure importance? Hai Nguyen ( suggest the following metrics by which priorities can be compared.

  • Benefits: how much benefit is obtained from accomplishing a task
  • Harm: how much harm would be caused by not accomplishing a task
  • Effort: how much reward can be obtained from doing a low effort task vs. a high effort task.

In school, typically you have to focus on harm: how much would not accomplishing a task harm your grade. In a work environment, things are not always as clear cut and some tasks can be delayed or put on hold if the effort outweighs the benefit.

Even in school, you typically have priorities that canΓÇÖt just be measured by the harm metric. Stephen Covey suggested creating a quadrant to group tasks to help you prioritize. Throw your tasks into this grid to help organize your tasks from a priority perspective.

Time management grid

Task grid

And remember, anything that saves you time can help you manage tasks. Reference Point Software can save you a lot of time formatting your academic papers and potentially leave you more time to accomplish your tasks.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).


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