How do you prioritize your friends drama against a science test?

by Julie Baird on September 28, 2010

So you have a bunch of stuff you have to get through, it seems like you are never going to get everything done…. where do you start?

Knowing the absolute best thing you can work on at any given time is one of the secrets of high performers. Prioritization tools allow you to look at your work so that you know you are working on the right things at the right time

There are a number of different methods you can use to help prioritize the things on your plate. The trick is finding one that works for you and using it.

The traditional important versus urgent model works well when applied properly but you do need to clarify in your own mind what important and urgent really mean.

Urgent can be fairly straightforward. If a project is due in the morning there is no doubt it is urgent.  Important can also be easy. If a test is worth 50% of your grade then it is important that you study for it.

But what happens in the grey areas? You hear that a friend has been dumped and is probably very upset. You obviously want to comfort her. But how does that fit with your overall priorities?

Being a good friend, it is obviously important to you. Is it as important as passing science? Try thinking of the big picture. How urgent is it? Sad to say, she will still be dumped an hour from now when you have knocked off your high priority work. So it may be less urgent than the test tomorrow.  So, you have a choice, either call now and consol her briefly while distracted thinking about the work you need to do, or wait till you are clear of your top priority items and can spend quality time lending her your shoulder to cry on.

The urgent versus important model can be useful in a lot of circumstances, but if you really want to make it work you have to be clear on what your big picture goals are and how the individual tasks fit into them.

If your child is struggling to control their time and get the results you know they are capable of then it is time to take action. The Focused Time Management System TM for Students avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It’s all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy! All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter. E mail me at to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help

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