How To Prioritize Tasks and Meet Your Deadlines

Priorities and deadlines are everything in business. If you’re looking for strategies to help improve task prioritization and ways to conquer deadlines, read on.

Whether you are just starting your career or a workforce veteran, it’s never too late to work on your prioritization techniques and project management skills.

Creating priorities can boost your ability to hit deadlines more efficiently. The more efficiently you can meet your deadlines, the less likely you will be stressed out in your workplace.

Sounds great, right? Keep reading for ten ways to prioritize your tasks and meet deadlines.

How To Prioritize Tasks: 10 Pro-Tips

  1. Group Similar Tasks
  2. Be Ready To Adjust On the Fly
  3. Break Large Tasks into Smaller Ones
  4. Set Ambitious Goals
  5. Know When You’re At Your Best
  6. Only Check Your Email at Set Times
  7. Rank Your Priorities
  8. Take Tasks One-at-a-Time
  9. Talk to Other People
  10. Use a Checklist

Group Similar Tasks

Creating categories can make it easier for your brain to process. When you have a few tasks that relate to each other, group them together by category or top priority to low priority instead of keeping them as separate tabs in your brain or on your priority list. 

Be Ready To Adjust On the Fly

Flexibility is one of the biggest assets you can have as a professional. Don’t get us wrong, planning is a good thing, but not everything will always go according to plan.

Being ready to adjust on the fly means you can pivot your workflow based on what’s thrown your way. The more you accept change, the more quickly you can move towards solving the problem. 

One of the best ways to adjust on the fly is to keep things in perspective. You are likely working with a team, so remember that not everything is about you. Whatever has shifted will affect the team as a whole, so do what you can to problem solve and contribute solutions to your team. 

Break Large Tasks into Smaller Ones

It can be daunting to look at a huge project and think you must conquer it all at once. Spoiler alert! You don’t. Breaking a large task into smaller ones can help you conquer a large task more efficiently.

When breaking down your tasks, try this strategy:

  1. Begin with the end in mind. Understand where you want to end up.
  2. Work backward from the end to the beginning. Make concrete steps of how you can get where you want to go.
  3. Look at the map as a whole. Now you have specific steps to take you from the starting line to the finish line. 
  4. Follow the map as you have planned. You’ve made yourself a process, so now follow it and adjust if necessary. 

Set Ambitious Goals

If you’ve heard the cliche “no pressure, no diamonds,” you might also know that it’s pretty true. If you do not stretch your potential, you will never know what you are truly capable of.

Set high goals for yourself. If you have to work hard to get there, you’ll be better for it. Allow yourself to see where hard work can take you. If you fail, get back up and try another way.

Goals are ways to push ourselves forward. Set ambitious goals and see where you grow. 

Know When You’re at Your Best

Knowing yourself is a huge asset. Part of knowing yourself is knowing when you’re at your best. 

For example, if you are a morning person, then make it a point to start your daily tasks in the morning when you are most productive. If you are most alert right after lunch or at the end of the day, then block out that time in your workday for yourself to do your best work.

To do this, you might have to set boundaries with your co-workers or with yourself. This is not always easy, but it will be worth seeing the results in your projects. 

Only Check Your Email at Set Times

Email is a way of life. And while emailing is necessary for most businesses, it can also be a huge distraction. The frequency at which you check your emails, social media, or take phone calls is another part of knowing yourself.

Do you check your email every ten minutes, get lost in your inbox, and then realize you’ve gotten nothing done all day? It’s time to set some boundaries for yourself to promote time management.

Different jobs will have different requirements, of course, but look at what would be best for you. Can you check once a day? Twice a day? On the hour? Again, this will vary based on your job, but whatever you decide, stick to it.

Rank Your Priorities

When you have multiple tasks in front of you, it can be overwhelming. If you find this happening, rank your priorities by the level of importance and due date.

Ask yourself:

  • What needs to be done right now/what is a high priority?
  • What needs to be done by the end of the day?
  • What needs to be done by the end of the week?
  • What needs to be done by the end of the month?

Ranking your priorities on a time-sensitive basis can help you gather your thoughts, create a schedule, and designate enough time for each.

Take Tasks One-at-a-Time

Once you have set your priorities, you know what needs to be done. So once you start a task, stick to that one. Now, this does not mean you can only work on one daily task. However, you should choose one task and stick with it for a designated amount of time.

Trying to complete multiple tasks at once can slow you down. While it might feel like multitasking, dedicating your focus to one task at a time will likely improve the efficiency and quality of the outcome. 

Talk to Other People

When we say “talk to other people,” we don’t mean just stand around and chit-chat. We mean collaboration.

If you are stumped on a project, talk to your team members. A fresh set of eyes can work wonders. Sometimes, you might be too deep on a task, making it hard to see it from an outside perspective. Bring a co-worker in and ask them what they think. They might be able to bring a whole new perspective to the table. 

Use a Checklist

Making a checklist at the beginning of a task can be a huge help. Before you begin a task, you are likely thinking of how much needs to be done. If this is the case, use it to your advantage. 

A master list of tasks can be a great way to track what you need to do. It can be a brain dump — a place to get all the information. It will also allow you to return to it later and double-check that you’ve remembered everything you need. 

Why Is Prioritizing Tasks Important for Meeting Deadlines?

Deadlines as a Roadmap

Instead of letting deadlines become a stressor, use them as a motivator.

What are the most important and urgent tasks? What is due first? What task can wait until later?

Your deadlines will create your priorities. Once you have your deadlines, use them as a template to create a calendar for yourself. Group similar tasks together, break everything down, and complete your projects one step at a time. 


Prioritization is a key component of meeting deadlines. With so many prioritization methods out there, from the Eisenhower Matrix to the ABCDE Method, to the “eating the frog” strategy coined by Mark Twain, you’ve got to figure out which one works best for you.

If you’re looking to provide your team with ways to help them prioritize tasks, there is project management software out there that can help them do so, including: 

  • Trello
  • Kanban
  • Workflow

Deadlines are a part of life, so it’s important to develop your own prioritization strategies to conquer them as efficiently as possible. Take stock of what needs to be done so you can determine how to get things done. 


The Eisenhower Matrix: How to Prioritize Your To-Do List | Asana

Prioritization Methods | Washington State University

We Tried It: Eat That Frog | monday.com

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