How to Prioritize Projects. Ultimate Guide

When you are assigned a project don't be panic or impatience if it is a sudden jerk and you were not mentally prepared, just stop, take a while and think before you reply. You should be mentally prepared for any situation while you are working with an organization or even having your tasks/projects.

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You need strong communication with clients or organizations with whom you are working. Secondly, you need to know what kind of project you are going to deal with, have all the details and previous work style of organization it used to follow.

Steps to follow to Prioritize projects in a better way:

You need to follow the below steps given.

1. Identify business objectives

To decide how to prioritize projects you have to go through the company's objectives and the strategies followed by the company to achieve their goal.

By getting up to dates on the company's objectives you can better set project objectives and work up to the mark. If you have a clear business objective you can decide which task will stand on the top of the list of your business project priorities.

Without studying the past and present strategies of the organization you are working with, it is nearly impossible to know its objectives and mission statement of that organization.

Importance of Objectives:

  • The goals of a company should be very clear and specific that they can measure the progress to achieve success and set their specific visions.
  • Objectives define the mission statement of an organization and help to analyze the performance of their employee whether it supports their mission or not.

Types of objectives/mission:

There are two types of objectives of a company:

  • Official objectives

These are the mission statements of a company or an organization. These are long-term objectives and are set to create a reputation and public image of an organization.

  • Operative objectives

These are temporary objectives that usually are developed during a business project only.

2. Make a to-do list

Before starting a project, you need to develop a to-do list that includes all possible tasks needed for the completion of a project. It is the base of your work that provides you the right direction to beat your piled work on time.

Typically to do lists are developed before starting a project.  To-do lists help you to find the way How to prioritize projects. Two types of to-do lists can be developed:

  • Team to-do list

This list is developed at the start of a project and agreed upon by the entire team.

  • Personal to-do list

Each member of the team develops his/her to-do list to meet up the target.

Importance of To-Do Lists:

To-do lists are important in the following ways:

  • To-do lists help you to deal with a pile of work and how to prioritize projects.
  • To-do lists help you to decide as a team leader which task you are going to assign which member with a deadline.
  • These lists also make you self-independent, you don't need to ask other people what to do next. You do have your own plans to be a leader of yourself.

3. Categorize your goals (Big Rocks)

Categorization helps you to guide on how to prioritize projects. By categorizing the work, you may put first thing first. From a pile of overload work, you have to separate your big rocks which stand for most important goals which you have to complete without wasting a single minute effectively.

By organizing the tasks or events we going to makeover one after other you can prioritize your tasks in four major categories:

  • Important and urgent wok

These tasks stand on the first priority of the list. These tasks are most important and need to be done, thinking critically may lead to stress developing strategy but you have to be proactive by finding the ways to tackle the problems you are facing during the completion of these tasks.

You can easily achieve these goals by thinking out of the box and widen your thoughts in a peaceful mind.

  • Important but not urgent work

This type of work is important but not urgent. So you don't need to follow the timeline. To spend your time on this work just includes your vision, your mission and you focus on the things you can control without the limitation of time.

  • Not important but urgent work

This category includes urgent but not important work like urgent meetings with clients just to cover up the communication gap or have a discussion. We may say that this category belongs to crisis management.

  • Not important and not urgent work

This category includes the tasks and responsibilities which don’t have values but we have to do to meet our important goals like web browsing and use of social media just to check the trend or the way others are adopting for their projects.

It will be good for our team management skills. We will be able to learn new things and enhance our skis. Obviously, we should not ignore little things related to our work responsibility as this attitude will help us to tackle even the bigger an important challenge in any circumstances.

4. Develop Gantt chart

Gantt chart defines well how to prioritize projects as it contains the list of important tasks you have to repeat many times till the completion of a project like if you are a civil engineer and doing a project during which you have to visit the site much time in a month on repetition.

So, by using the Gantt chart you can schedule your date of visiting and how many times you will be visiting in a week or a month.

Gantt chart is a horizontal bar that shows you the timeline and status. It is useful to analyze how long a project takes and what sort of tools are required for its performance.

  • Way of creating Gantt chart

        It can be created by using Google sheets or excel or building by using “collaborative project management software”, but it depends on one's needs to choose the best features.

  • Manifestation in project management

Gantt chart helps approach project planning. To develop successful projects one needs collaboration as well as communication that is possible with the help of streamlined communication that centralizes your project plan.

  • How to purify your projects

Inviting your entire team to the project enables each person to filter the chart for the task for which they are assigned which makes it easy for them to prioritize their time.

   By sharing it with your clients, it can minimize the necessity for constant feedback and allows you to work continuously without logistical issues.

5. Learn to say no to new projects

When you are working on an important project with a huge pile of work and your client or boss assigns you another project which is not possible to be done efficiently, it is better to say no to the new one.

It is a matter of career, if you deliver incomplete or low-quality work it may lead to darkening your future career. If you don't want to say no very clearly, take time to brainstorm with new ideas brought by the client.

After listening to the client about the new project, be polite, and use suitable words to refuse to start new work due to your busy routine. You have to convince the new client that his/her new project needs a proper time to proceed and you won’t be able to do that due to your busy schedule.

6. Meet deadline

Deadlines are set to remind you that you have to work on a project and when. Deadlines are key to taking charge of yourself to complete the work in limited time with accuracy.

Deadline management:

Usually, people underestimate how long it takes to complete a project and agree to it without taking it into count. You can manage deadlines in the following ways:

  • First of all, you need to understand what type of project you are hired for and what are the requirements to complete it.  If your deadline is for a complicated task let the person know who has assigned you the task.
  • Secondly, you need to get the right sources like team, tools, training, material, and enough time as well.
  • Despite you working hard and completing your project after the deadline, don't panic and make every effort to limit the such a situation, it is better to communicate with the client, ask for the new deadline, and fix it next time by meeting this deadline.


Keeping in mind all the above steps you can learn how to prioritize projects surely. For a project manager, this data will be helpful in case of putting first thing first, organizing data, meeting deadlines, and scheduling the important task on repetition weekly and monthly.

You nee to be consistent to follow all the above steps because if you are not always switched on, you can mess things up.

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