Task and Goal Prioritization

Michael Kalashnikov
Michael Smith
29 August 2023
6 min

In serious and large-scale projects, there are no secondary tasks. However, accomplishing them all simultaneously is physically impossible. There simply isn’t enough time and resources for that. Trying to do everything at once leads to chaos. You end up working in a rushed manner, adapting to the situation. Yet, this doesn’t always yield positive results. Navigating through the endless stream of tasks is where task prioritization comes in. It’s an effective time management tool that helps formally determine the importance of each task.

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What is it for and how does it work


Without proper prioritization, there is a risk of starting work with the simplest and non-essential tasks. This is due to the functioning of our brain, which tends to be inherently lazy. As a result, truly important tasks get postponed for ‘later.’ As the deadline approaches, they are done haphazardly, quickly, and with lower quality. As a result, the business ends up at a disadvantage.

Goal prioritization works at all levels of planning. The method is suitable for organizing daily tasks or developing a long-term strategy. This technique has numerous advantages:

  • Enhances team productivity and that of each team member.
  • Helps find the shortest and correct path to the intended goal.
  • Ensures efficient distribution of key resources: time, money, materials.
  • Assists in bringing order to work and personal matters, achieving life harmony.

Setting priorities is like an improvised task filter that sieves out everything unnecessary. By focusing on key areas of life, you can obtain what truly matters to you from it.

‘Prioritizing tasks’ means assigning them a specific place in the overall list based on the complexity and time required to complete each task. As a result, important tasks requiring immediate action occupy the top positions. Following them are tasks that can be deferred for some time. And at the very bottom of the list are secondary, non-urgent tasks.”

Criteria of prioritization.


To achieve the set goals in life, it’s important to be able to identify the most important ones among them. There is no universal, standard approach here. Each situation requires separate analysis and examination. In time management, priorities are established based on the following criteria:

  • Degree of importance. This includes goals and tasks that have the potential to significantly improve life in a positive way.

An important goal always aligns with core values. For someone aiming for financial prosperity, the goal of ‘launching an online store’ or ‘attaining a new position’ will always be more relevant than ‘developing creative abilities.’ If a goal doesn’t align with a person’s or a company’s values, it won’t be achieved, as its realization won’t bring satisfaction.

The same criteria should apply to important tasks. These are a set of actions necessary to achieve the main goal, designed with specific values in mind. The primary task for the goal of ‘opening an online store’ could be ‘website design and development.’

Importance is a key criterion for prioritizing tasks. It directly impacts the speed and necessity of their completion.

  • Urgency. Each task has a deadline by which it needs to be completed. Violating this deadline can result in missed opportunities, problems, or the loss of relevance.

For instance, ‘Write a report.’ If it needs to be submitted by the end of the workday, it’s very urgent. If the deadline is set for the evening, it’s simply urgent and shouldn’t be postponed. If the report needs to be finished by the end of the week, it’s not urgent. The Eisenhower Matrix, a popular time management tool, is built upon the basis of task urgency and importance.

  • Resource Allocation. When planning, it’s important to consider how much money, effort, and other resources are required for each task. As a result, the priority is given to the outcome with lesser resource demands.

For example, suppose we want to purchase and install new software. One IT company offers to do this for $500. Another developer offers the same price but includes additional features in the service package, ensuring more efficient and comfortable application use. Naturally, the choice would favor the second provider.

  • Expected Outcomes. This criterion determines how beneficial the accomplishment of each goal and task will be for the company.

For instance, when planning a social media advertising campaign, a group is selected for posting. Selection is done from three user groups with identical interests, engagement levels, and advertising rates. In one group, there are 20,000 members, in the second – 30,000, and in the third – 60,000. To achieve the optimal result, it’s advisable to place the ads in the third group, as the reach will be higher, positively affecting the click count.

  • Effectiveness. Based on the previous two criteria, the effectiveness of each task is calculated. For this, the anticipated outcome is divided by the planned resource allocation.

Returning to the social media advertising example, let’s assume that advertising prices differ between the groups. Using available data, we create a table to calculate effectiveness:”

Please note that while I’ve provided a translation, the text contains tables and specific examples that may need to be adjusted for clarity and formatting in English.

 Audience sizeAdvertising ratesEffectiveness
1st group20,000 people$3020
2nd group30,000 people$5025
3rd group60,000 people$10020

From an effectiveness standpoint, launching the advertising campaign in the second group will be more advantageous.

Effective methods of prioritization

work plan

Various methods of prioritization are employed to accurately determine the importance and value of goals and tasks. They help structure, visualize the available data, and efficiently organize work processes.

Eisenhower Matrix

One of the most well-known task prioritization tools used in time management. It helps identify the importance and urgency of each task without getting caught up in urgent matters regardless of their significance in the workflow.

According to the methodology, all tasks are divided into four categories:

  1. Important and Urgent: These must be done immediately.
  2. Important but Not Urgent: These should be scheduled in a daily planner or task list.
  3. Urgent but Not Important: These should be delegated to others.
  4. Neither Urgent nor Important: These can be postponed or completely removed.

To determine the order of task execution in each group, deadlines can be used. If actions in the list are equally urgent and important, the complexity of each task is taken into account when setting priorities.

MoSCoW Method

The principle of this method is based on its abbreviation. The word ‘MoSCoW’ stands for:

  1. M (Must): Denotes tasks of high importance and top priority. These are tasks that cannot be postponed. They are essential for product launch and release.
  2. S (Should): Includes tasks that are not of high importance but are mandatory to complete.
  3. C (Could): Encompasses actions that are desirable to execute within the project.
  4. W (Would): Contains non-urgent tasks that are not essential for the workflow. These can be comfortably postponed without harming the project. These tasks can be used for long-term product development strategies.

This method is optimal for internal company projects.

Kano Model

Developed by Noriaki Kano in 1984, this prioritization method employs a coordinate system where the X-axis represents the level of task execution, and the Y-axis represents the degree of customer satisfaction from their completion. Kano utilizes three quality criteria that influence customer satisfaction:

  1. Basic Needs: These are fundamental properties of a product or service. Customers perceive them as a given and taken for granted.
  2. Performance Needs: These are qualities that directly impact customer satisfaction and contribute to competitive product characteristics.
  3. Excitement Needs: These are unexpected features that significantly enhance the value of the product. Customers are pleasantly surprised by these bonuses.

Using this tool allows for a more accurate and comprehensive characterization of each task and helps prioritize tasks while considering the expectations and preferences of potential users.

Two-List Method

This tool, developed by the renowned investor Warren Buffett, is based on the Pareto principle. Its essence: out of 100% of planned tasks, only 20% are truly productive, contributing to 80% of the results.

To utilize this method, create a list of 25 planned tasks. Choose the five most important and prioritize them. These will form a new list and should be completed first. The remaining 20 tasks can be tackled when there’s available time and appropriate resources.

Using LeaderTask for Task Prioritization

Main LeaderTask Screen By learning to prioritize correctly, one can achieve better results in work and life. Modern digital services like the LeaderTask electronic planner are currently used for effective planning.

The program makes it easy to create task lists and edit the tasks within them. Tasks can be removed or moved with a single click. Tasks can be grouped by importance, execution dates, and assigned priorities. Delegating tasks to other team members within a project, monitoring the degree and quality of their completion is also possible.

Smart notifications keep you informed about important tasks. The electronic assistant timely reminds you of upcoming events and significant dates. Statuses like ‘In Progress,’ ‘Completed,’ ‘Canceled,’ and ‘Ready for Submission’ aid in task management. You can attach files and comments to tasks and discuss work in a shared chat. The app operates across all digital platforms.


Utilizing modern methods of task prioritization allows effective organization of collaborative projects within a team, enabling each participant to maximize their potential. With these methods, crucial and high-priority tasks can be identified, yielding the best results and contributing to business growth and continued success

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