How to Prioritize Tasks: The Best Guide for Course Creators Who Struggle with Time Management and Organization

Do you ever feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day? You're swamped with course development tasks, marketing strategies, and launch plans. Deadlines loom, and the ever-growing to-do list on your desk never seems to get shorter. Everything looks urgent and important.

You’re not alone. This feeling is all too familiar for many course creators. Myself included. I’d juggle a million things at once leaving me feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and behind schedule.

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But once I learned how to prioritize tasks, I broke free from the chaos and conquered my productivity. You can do it, too. The key lies in prioritization.

Why Prioritization Matters for Course Creators

Prioritization isn't just about checking things off a list. It's a strategic approach to managing your time and energy, ensuring you focus on the tasks that truly move the needle toward your goals.

Prioritization is one of my best productivity secrets!

For course creators, prioritization offers many benefits:

  1. Increased Productivity and Efficiency: By focusing on high-impact tasks first, you can streamline your workflow and complete projects faster. No more getting lost in the weeds of unimportant details!
  2. Reduced Stress and Improved Well-being: When you feel in control of your workload, you can avoid the burnout and overwhelm that comes with constant task juggling. Prioritization leads to a more balanced and fulfilling course creation experience.
  3. Better Course Quality: By dedicating focused time to content creation, developing engaging activities, and planning a well-structured curriculum, you ensure your course delivers exceptional value to your students.
  4. Improved Customer Satisfaction: When you meet deadlines and deliver a well-organized learning experience, your students will be happy and more likely to recommend your course to others. Who doesn’t want that?

Popular Prioritization Methods for Course Creators

Now that you understand the power of prioritization, let's explore some popular methods that work particularly well for course creators. Keep in mind that not all of these methods will work for you. But test them out or develop your own.

The Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix, developed by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a framework that helps categorize tasks based on urgency and importance.

  • Urgent and important tasks (“Do First”) are tackled immediately
  • Important but not urgent tasks (“Schedule”) are planned for later
  • Urgent but not important tasks (“Delegate”) can be assigned to others
  • Anything that falls into the not urgent, not important (“Eliminate”) category can be removed from your list altogether (Whew!)

The Eisenhower Matrix is a great tool for quickly sorting through your to-do list and identifying the tasks that deserve your immediate attention. This allows you to move forward faster.

Eat That Frog

“Eating the frog” is a productivity philosophy popularized by Brian Tracy. It encourages you to tackle your most challenging or important task first thing in the morning.

This “frog” represents the task you're most likely to procrastinate on. The belief is that by conquering it first, you gain momentum and confidence for the rest of the day.

In my opinion, “eating that frog” first thing in the morning is less important than identifying your “frog tasks.”

To give an example, for course creators, your “frog” might be brainstorming and outlining your course content, recording a complex video lesson, or tackling a challenging marketing campaign.

Once you’ve identified those tasks, find a time of day when your energy and willpower are at their highest for particular tasks. You’ll have a better chance of getting it over the finish line.

Getting Things Done (GTD)

Developed by David Allen, Getting Things Done or GTD is a comprehensive system for capturing all your tasks and projects in one central location. This allows you to “get things out of your head” and process them later, freeing up mental space for focused work.

The GTD system involves defining projects, identifying actionable steps, and organizing them based on priority. For course creators, GTD can be a powerful tool for managing the oodles of ideas, tasks, and resources involved in building and launching a successful course.

How to Prioritize Tasks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to put prioritization into practice and conquer your course creation journey? Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Identify Your Goals

The first step to prioritizing tasks is creating clear long-term and short-term goals. Start by thinking about what you want to achieve with your course.

  • What are the outcomes and goals of the course?
  • When do you want to launch the course?
  • How many students do you want to enroll?
  • Is there a particular level of income you’d like to reach?

Having a clear vision of what you want will help you prioritize tasks that contribute directly to your desired outcomes.

Step 2: List Your Tasks

To understand how to prioritize tasks properly, compile a comprehensive list of all the tasks related to your course development, marketing, and launch.

Brainstorm everything you think you’ll need to do. This list will get you started:

  • Content creation
  • Recording sessions
  • Editing videos
  • Designing
  • Graphics
  • Writing sales copy
  • Building your sales funnel
  • Social media promotion

No task is too small to include! Once you have this list, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 3: Evaluate Each Task

Once you have your master task list, it's time to analyze each task based on four key criteria (nope—not the Eisenhower Matrix):

  1. Urgency: Does this task need immediate attention to meet a deadline or prevent a future issue?
  2. Importance: Does this task significantly contribute to your goals or the overall success of your course?
  3. Time Commitment: How much time will it realistically take to complete this task?
  4. Energy Level Required: Does this task require focused attention and creative energy, or can it be done during a lower energy period?

Don’t skip this step! Categorizing your tasks using these criteria will help prevent procrastination and improve your output. In other words—you’ll be more productive.

Step 4: Prioritize Your Tasks

Based on your evaluation, categorize each task using a chosen prioritization method like the Eisenhower Matrix (there it is!).

Here's an example breakdown:

  1. Do First (Urgent & Important): Recording core video lessons for your course, launching your sales page before the deadline, addressing urgent student questions
  2. Schedule (Important, Not Urgent): Developing bonus materials, creating social media graphics in advance, scheduling email marketing campaigns
  3. Delegate (Urgent, Not Important): Scheduling social media posts with a tool, researching copyright-free images, sending follow-up emails to potential collaborators
  4. Eliminate (Not Urgent, Not Important): Participating in unrelated online courses, engaging in lengthy social media browsing, attending webinars outside your niche

Assigning tasks to categories like this will help you identify clear priorities, so you have fewer decisions to make.

Step 5: Schedule Your Tasks

Now that your tasks are prioritized, it's time to get into action. Block out specific time slots in your calendar for each task, considering the estimated time commitment and your energy levels throughout the day.

A pro tip is to schedule demanding tasks for your peak focus periods and easier tasks for times when your energy dips.

Now that you know how to prioritize tasks, I’ve got a few “pro tips” for you.

Pro Tips and Tricks for Course Creators
Mastering prioritization requires ongoing practice and refinement. This means that you’re not going to be an expert prioritizer right out of the gate. Through repetition, you’ll become better and faster at prioritizing.

So don’t give up trying. You’ll get the hang of it.

While I have you here—I’ve got some additional tips to boost your productivity and course creation success:

  • Schedule Breaks and Self-Care:Don't underestimate the power of breaks! Schedule time for short walks, meditation, or simply disconnecting from work. A well-rested and rejuvenated mind is much more efficient and productive. Plus, you’ll avoid burnout, which is a common risk among course creators.
  • Batch Similar Tasks Together: Group similar tasks together to minimize context switching. For example, dedicate a specific day or block of time to record all your video lessons. This helps you maintain focus and flow in a single task category.
  • Delegate or Outsource Non-Essential Tasks: Don't be afraid to delegate tasks that are not in your Zone of Genius or best use of time. Consider hiring freelancers for editing, graphic design, or social media management.
  • Review and Adjust Your Priorities Regularly: Revisit your goals and priorities periodically. As your course creation journey progresses, your priorities may shift. So, be adaptable and adjust your task list accordingly.

Taking Your Productivity to the Next Level

While these strategies provide a strong foundation for prioritizing your course creation journey, there's always room to grow. Consider exploring resources and programs that offer ongoing support and guidance, especially with productivity.

For instance, try out my free One Focused Hour System where I share a powerful strategy to help you master your time management. It delves deeper into time management strategies specifically designed for busy entrepreneurs and course creators.

The One Focused Hour System equips you with powerful techniques to maximize your focus and minimize distractions, allowing you to achieve more in a single focused hour than you ever thought possible.

And, building on the principles of focused work, you might be interested in the Achieve Membership. It provides a comprehensive framework for course creators seeking long-term success.

Achieve offers ongoing coaching, powerful mini-lessons, expert guidance, and a supportive community to help you be more productive and make better progress as you navigate the entire course creation process.

Now You Know How to Prioritize Tasks

Now that you know how to prioritize tasks, you can transform your course creation journey from chronic chaos to a focused and efficient path to success. You’ll ditch being a Hustle Hero and instead be an Effective Executor.

A quick reminder—the most important tasks aren't always the most urgent. Learn to identify and tackle high-impact activities first. By doing so, you'll ensure your course creation efforts get results.

Your next step is to implement this prioritization strategy in your business. While I used course creation as an example, you can use it to help get any project over the finish line.

Take that first step. One of my favorite mentors says, “You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.” So, get it going and watch your productivity soar.

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