39+ Sample Priority Lists

Priority Lists: What Are They?

Priorities refer to those facets in life that bear significant importance or meaning to people. And when you associate the word priority with a list, a priority list collects all the priorities to work on that should be done soon. Since people have different priorities in life, you have the leeway to choose what actions to do first. But, you have to consider which is more and less important because just like a standard to-do list, a priority list is divided into hierarchies. Hence, a priority list is your guide on what to focus on first rather than assuming that all things are vital.

According to The Blissful Mind, the difference between goals and priorities is that goals refer to the greater picture or milestones you must accomplish. Meanwhile, priorities are the things you should agree or disagree with to achieve your goal.

Also, the economist Vilfredo Pareto introduced the Pareto Principle which denotes that 80% of the consequences were derived from 20% of causes, meaning not all things are equal.

Why Are Priority Lists Important?

A priority list is essential for you to be fully aware of your priorities’ hierarchy. Indeed, a person can have a hundred priorities. But it will overwhelm you when you are not sure of which task to start with. Thus, you need priority lists to know each priority’s urgency level, priority level, difficulty level, and other categories. And the best part is that priority lists work similarly to checklists where you can put checkmarks to everything you have accomplished, meaning you are through with your priorities when every item has been marked.

Also, priority lists work for all sorts of functions. Whether your purpose for needing the list is for personal needs, career needs, or financial needs, you can work on a priority list for your different needs. That means you can ace any project you have as long as you know what your priorities are and how the sequence of tasks to be done will follow. Thus, treat your priority lists as your guides when you get confused about your progress in achieving your tasks and goals.

Priority Checklist: The Basic Components of a Priority List

There is room for creativity and uniqueness in priority lists. Although such lists differ for every person, there are common factors noticed among standard examples too. So if you are unsure of what elements should be present in a priority list, follow this ultimate priority checklist of the main components to add to your next priority list.

Title: Always begin with a clear title to set the document’s official introductory statement. With the words ‘priority list’ seen on the top of the document, you will be sure of the sheet’s function already, which is a list of priorities. But you can also be more specific by adding more labels like a classroom priority list, relationship priority list, vehicle sale priority list, and so much more.List of Priorities: The meat of your document would be the itemized list of priorities. Expect to have a whole list of your prioritized tasks and goals first until you can divide them into categories according to their similar elements, relationship, or any other way you prefer it to be. Treat this as your official action list where you can write what needs to be done, especially the most important ones.Priority Level: The hierarchy of priorities will begin as you divide your list of priorities according to their priority level. Ask yourself, which is the most important down to the least important task? Indeed, they are all priorities, but you can always judge which is more or less important than the other. A tip is to assign numbers from one to the bottom number wherein number one marks as the most essential priority while the last number is for the least essential one.Urgency Level: When time management and scheduling are on the line, you have to consider an urgency level. This helps you decide which should be done first according to time. The most urgent ones have to be prioritized, particularly those with deadlines because delaying such tasks would mean you failed them. You can also categorize items according to what should be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and more.Difficulty Level: Sometimes, tasks are grouped according to how difficult they will be done. For example, you have a task that is at the top of your priority level. But it is too difficult and time-consuming to achieve in a day. Hence, you have no choice but to either sacrifice some priorities to work on that tedious task or to focus on the most urgent priorities first. With lots of levels to consider in a priority list, your decision-making skills will be tested.Progress Checker: To monitor your progress on how close or far you are to completing your priority list, you need a metric system for checking your progress. The common approach is to observe a checklist where checkmarks are provided to each finished task. Your progress checker will be used for evaluation on how productive or not you have been for achieving priorities. Hence, update your status from time to time or you might realize that you have not achieved that much at all.Notes: Finally, priority lists have extra space for special notes. Notes can be for any function including budget calculations, additional tasks or priorities, and even feedback. Its purpose is up to you. That section is simply for possible late add-ons that have not been written in the list but are actually important to take note of.

How to Create a Priority List

Since you were already introduced to the priority list’s meaning, significance, and standard components, proceed to apply what you learned in creating the priority list itself. It will not be complicated as you might think, especially when samples are ready for use. In fact, you only have to follow these six simple steps:

Step 1: Identify and Combine All Your Priorities in One Source

You have to remember and write every single priority you should list down in your priority list. To do that, make a draft first as your master to-do list. Make sure you have not forgotten any other task or priority. It would not matter whether your list is too long or too short as long as all the essential tasks are written there. Also, you can be guided by setting a priority list that aligns your purpose. So if you are planning for a business priority list, then the list of priorities should be relevant to your business or work.

Step 2: Use a Sample Priority List

Once you are done with the master list or draft, transfer what you wrote into a sample priority list. You have plenty of sample templates to choose from above this article. You may explore each sample and edit the details inside. Premade samples make the work easier for you since you need not work on it from the very beginning. Just fill in the missing details and customize them according to your preference. That way, you can decide freely on how your document should look like in the end.

Step 3: Analyze and Group Your Priority List

A priority task list is not simply listed randomly. There should be a sense of arrangement or organization on how the list of priorities is grouped together. Start analyzing which tasks belong to one group, another group, and so forth. Maybe you start with a functional group and another for tasks that can be delayed. You can divide the tasks according to urgency level, difficulty level, etc. Also, you can follow the Pareto Principle which was introduced by economist Vilfredo Pareto. It notes that 80% of the consequences were derived from 20% of causes. It shows the imbalance of some causes and effects in situations. An example is when 20% of a staff’s failure can affect 80% of profits in business badly. Hence, prioritizing tasks has its challenges.

Step 4: Complete the Priority List’s Basic Elements

Speaking of urgency level, difficulty level, and the like, be sure you have completed the basic components of a priority list into your document. You already know about the basic elements of a priority list from the title to the notes. Check if your list has them already. More so, you can add more sections depending on what is necessary or relevant to your list.

Step 5: Observe an Easy-to-Use List

The last thing you want for a priority list is a list that is hard to follow. Be sure to observe easy-to-use results instead. Maybe you cannot keep up with your list due to its disorganized and complex output. Thus, conduct an assessment if you are okay with the list’s format, design, and details. If you think it is making your experience easier, then go for it. Alter the content if the results are dismal.

Step 6: Update the List Regularly

Once you are done making the list, the job is not yet finished. Be sure to stick to your list and follow it as your guide. Most importantly, update its content by marking which ones have been accomplished until you complete everything in the end. Also, tracking your progress should be nonstop so you will really achieve it responsibly once and for all. Lastly, you can change your list and create better versions as you go on because a sense of development ensues on how you work with such lists regularly.


What is the difference between goals and priorities?

The main difference between a goal and a priority is that a goal covers the greater picture to accomplish milestones. Meanwhile, a priority refers to anything you agree or disagree with in order to achieve such goals.

What are some advantages of a priority list?

There are many advantages associated with a priority list. Examples include being sure of your decisions on how to complete your prioritized tasks, lessening the chances to forget tasks, organizing priorities into doable tasks, and knowing when to say yes or no upon getting additional requests to prioritize.

What is the effective way to analyze and organize a priority list?

The key to effectively organize and analyze priority lists is to follow the four Ds—do, defer, delegate, and delete.

  • Do – tasks to complete right now
  • Defer – tasks to do later
  • Delegate – tasks assigned to another person
  • Delete – tasks removed from the list

A priority is any important desire or concern that comes first before any other task. And when you figure out the hierarchy and levels of your priorities, you will learn that things do not have to be done everything at once. Instead, you become more disciplined with your time and effort when you have set an organized list of priorities. And that is just what sample priority lists can help you achieve for your life. Download now!