Nine tips to help students prioritise tasks

If students complain of not having enough time to complete assignments, Hassan Imad Kadhim has nine tips that will help them (and anyone else juggling a to-do list) get tasks done

Hassan Imad Kadhim's avatar
29 Nov 2022
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Key Details

This video will cover:

01:05 Nine tips for managing your to-do list

01:55 How to set deadlines

03:06 Plan for the unexpected


Hello, this is Hassan Imad Kadhim, a lecturer at Al-Mustaqbal University College’s department of English language and literature. I hold a master’s degree in English language and linguistics, and now I’m a PhD researcher in the same field.

Today, I will talk about a very sensitive topic, which is prioritising or prioritisation. A lot of college students come and ask and complain about not having enough time to do their work, homework, assignments and other things simultaneously.

So, first we need to define: what is the process of prioritisation or prioritising? Prioritisation includes deciding what order tasks should be completed based on their importance. This strategy may help you organise your time more efficiently.

Here, I have nine tips for students to better manage their work and duties.

First, number one, keep the big picture in mind. Taking the time to map out your next few weeks of a project can be the first step in deciding what you need to prioritise.

Second, create a master list of your responsibilities. Listing out what it will take to successfully complete each project on your plate, while also considering your daily responsibilities, will create visibility. Making each task on your to-do list a physical obstacle that you can cross off creates a sense of satisfaction that ultimately increases your motivation.

Three, consider deadlines. While seemingly obvious, we often try to tackle the easiest task on our list instead of the more complex jobs, while considering deadlines. Although the simpler task may give a sense of satisfaction in the short term, you will be much more grateful that you didn’t wait until the last minute to take on your most difficult responsibility.

Four, break down large tasks. Identifying specific steps for each stage of a more complex task allows you to take on a difficult project in a more organised manner.

Five, outline your day. Your schedule is your biggest asset when it comes to tackling your to-do list. Finding gaps in your day and using them to cross tasks off your to-do list will allow you to take control of your day and use time to your advantage.

Six, plan for the unexpected. Although your schedule can work to your advantage, you should never take it for granted. Always give yourself extra time when considering your deadlines, so that you are prepared for [when] the unexpected happens.

Seven, reward yourself. Take the time to reward your accomplishments. Not only will you have something to look forward to after accomplishments or accomplishing a task, but positive reinforcement also encourages healthy behaviours in the long run.

Eight, cut out distractors or distractions. If you are someone that is easily distracted, taking the time to remove yourself from the things that more often than not distract you from the task at hand is worth the effort.

Finally, nine, use organisation tools. Tools like the priority matrix make your life easier by helping with everything from visibility to priority management. The priority matrix allows you to conquer your most important day-to-day commitments, while also keeping your high-level goals in mind. This visibility helps you keep track of what you have done to utilise these tips and strategies in every project you take on.

Thank you very much.

Hassan Imad Kadhim is a lecturer in the department of English language and literature at Al-Mustaqbal University College in Iraq.

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