Time always seems to be in short supply and when you are an IB student, this is doubly true! In this week’s blog, we are going to be exploring the wild and exciting ride that is prioritisation. I know on the face of it this sounds pretty dire but stick with me! By the end of this blog, you will be an expert in prioritising your tasks which means you are basically acing the IB.
Break it up
Before you can even start to think about prioritisation, it’s important that you really think about how you are recording tasks. By this, I mean how you are writing down what needs to be done when.
Often, we have a tendency to lump all our tasks together. A good example is writing in your diary: ‘finish homework’. While this indicates to you that you have homework (of course you do) it does little to help you schedule it. Instead, try writing down exactly what you have been set. If the task is taking notes from a textbook, write:
Take notes from pages 116-127, Cold War text book, due: 02/11
By having a more detailed breakdown of your tasks you can immediately identify what you need to do now!
Divide it down
Another important thing to do is think about your prioritises in 2 different ways. Firstly, identify your ‘Grand scale’ (or long-term) priorities. These are the things you want to achieve over the entirety of this year. Maybe it’s getting better at French or maybe it’s finishing your EE by end of summer.
Secondly, you need to identify your small-scale priorities. These are the things that you want to achieve this week or maybe this month. An example of this could be your Biology homework due in tomorrow, for example.
Once you’ve split these up, you can start to put them down on paper in a manageable (and helpful) way.
For those long-term tasks, the best thing you can do it write them up in a big overview calendar. You can get one of these free from Lanterna HERE. In this calendar, write in the date at which you want to have achieved each task. Remember, they may be really far in the future, but this way you can keep track of them. You can put the calendar up of your wall and go and look at it to refresh your memory on everything you are going to achieve this year!
For your smaller scale tasks, you need another approach. While diarising things can be useful, to really get the hang of prioritising, I’d recommend trying out a prioritisation square!
A prioritisation is where you label your tasks as urgent or not urgent and then schedule them based on the amount of effort required to complete them. I love this method because it helps me visually see everything I need to get done without feeling overwhelmed. Click HERE to read our blog post on the prioritisation square and a video to go along with it!
Finally, I’d also recommend the app Trello. It’s a great (and free) way of making to-do lists on your phone that keeps you up to date on everything you need to be doing!
Need a bit more help?
Why not check out Lanterna’s Mid-IB Summer Courses where you can learn way more study tips from some IB pros! We also have online private tuition where our amazing tutors can help you perfect your study skills and ace your IB.