Prioritize Tasks

5 Practical Ways to Teach Your Child to Prioritize Tasks

Prioritize Tasks


Update: This article was last updated on 19th October 2022 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

Streamlining priorities is an essential leadership trait that helps in being on top of things and comes in handy in successfully dealing with challenging situations.

In the corporate sectors, managers follow the 4 Ds of time management, which was first mentioned in the book, The Power of Focus, written by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt. They proposed the 4Ds – Delete, Delegate, Defer and Do –  to separate fake-urgent tasks from important ones to regain time control.

Task prioritization and time management are interconnected and people who master the art enjoy the lifelong benefits. It enhances efficiency and gives them the power to decide how they spend their time.

The lesson on how to prioritize tasks should start early in life because it upskills children early and they learn to set goals, focus, organize, prioritize, etc.

The first step in managing time is determining how you spend your time; prioritization techniques are key in planning. 

Here are  five practical ways to teach your child to prioritize tasks

1) Write it Down

Listing tasks is the first step toward learning prioritization techniques. Encourage children to prepare a list of the tasks at hand. 

Everything from school assignments to playing should be listed. Must remember, everything should be mentioned in a single task list. 

                       Write it Down

Once all the tasks are in front of their eyes, they can easily decide which task needs their immediate attention, which can be deferred, and which can be deleted.

2) Urgent vs Important

This one is tricky but crucial too. Both need attention but which one should be attended to first is the key. 

So, start with a task that is both urgent and important. A child should understand that tasks tagged as both urgent and important should come under high priority and should be done immediately. 

                                Urgent vs Important

For example, if the child has a deadline to submit an assignment the next day, they should do it first. Just remember an urgent task is bound by deadlines.If the task is not urgent but important, that means there is a breathing space to strategize. Such tasks should be placed second on the list.

Some tasks are neither urgent nor important: You can either remove them, schedule them for later, or even delegate them.

3) Schedule Tasks

Once the children put the task list in place, and segregate important, urgent, and unimportant tasks, they should schedule it and follow the sequence.

                            Schedule Tasks

One task at a time, not only saves time and energy but also speeds up the work.

4) Align Tasks with Goals

The ability to prioritize tasks helps in achieving long-term goals. For instance, a child’s long-term goal would be getting into an Ivy League college. A perfect resume should reflect academic excellence, passion, and extracurricular activities. Prioritization techniques teach time utilization.

                               Align Tasks with Goals

It makes us work smartly and pack several activities in limited hours, which takes us closer to our goals. 

5) Revisit and Update the To-do List Every Day

Tasks lists are not one-offs! You have to update them regularly. Inculcate this habit in your child. Ask them to start their day by checking the task list and updating it. 

                                 Revisit and Update the To-do List Every Day

They should remove the completed tasks, add new tasks and keep it clutter-free. Depending upon the urgency of the task, they should prioritize the work and follow it religiously.   

This habit will ensure there are no pending jobs, no missed deadlines, and no guilt pangs. In the long run, this one small habit can play a key role in fueling their success.

Have more suggestions on how to help your child prioritize tasks? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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    9 months ago

    This blog is a stepping stone and useful for children to start off with effectively managing their time

    9 months ago

    This Blog lacks one of the most important techniques of time management i.e. Pomodoro and chunking with the help of which the task does not look like a huge mountain.