So you have written up your to-do list and it is a mile long, everything needs to be done ASAP… how do you prioritise the items on your list?
Prioritisation can be difficult particularly if you work for others and lack control over your own to-do list/workload.
Today I am going to share a prioritising technique called ‘paired analysis’. The paired analysis process allows you to compare each task on your to-do list relative to the others. It is simple – compare two items and decide which is more important. You simply look at two items at a time and fill in the grid – rather than comparing the list as a whole. This makes it more manageable and less overwhelming.
1. Download the free Worksheet
Grab it here.
2. Write your do to list
Write your to-do list in the left hand column (or copy the items you want to prioritise from your to-do list into this list). You don’t have to write them down in any particular order nor do you have to completely fill the box. The next steps will do the priorising for you with however many items you have.
3. Complete the Grid
Each box on the grid represents a pairing. Mark in each box which is more important and then grade the importance – 1, 2 or 3. 1 being a bit more important and 3 being a lot more important.
So for example lets take the first box.
- Compare Task A with Task B.
- Is Task A or Task B more important?
- Write the letter of the task that is more important in the box.
- Next consider how much more important it is. 1, 2 or 3?
- write this number in the box beside the letter.
- continue for all the items on your list.
4. Total the Scores
Now you need to add up the total number of points for each letter and write the total in column T. Complete this for all the relevant letters.
5. Rank the Tasks
Finally, rank the tasks by assigning a number to them in Column R. Number them from 1 onwards starting with the Task (Letter) with the highest total in column T. You should then have a priority order to work from. If more than one is tied. Pick one to prioritise (or toss a coin).