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In this glossary entry, we will explain the term "priority" in relation to various aspects such as time management, decision-making, project management, and even personal life management. Priority is a fundamental concept that helps to identify and emphasize important tasks and goals over less important ones, in order to be more efficient and successful.

Definition of Priority

The term priority (from Latin "prior" - "the former") refers to the order or importance assigned to a task, project, or decision. Priority helps to concentrate limited resources such as time, money, and attention on the most significant and urgent tasks. Priorities can be set both in professional and personal life and are an essential part of time management and decision-making.

Priorities in Time Management

In time management, it's about making the best use of available time to achieve the desired results. Setting priorities is a crucial step in ensuring that the most important and urgent tasks are completed first. There are various methods to set priorities in time management, such as the Eisenhower Matrix, the ABC analysis, or the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule). These approaches help to classify tasks according to their importance and urgency and sort them accordingly.

Priorities in Project Management

Priorities also play an important role in project management. They help to focus resources such as time, personnel, and budget on the critical subtasks and milestones of a project. Setting priorities in project management can be done both qualitatively (e.g., through expert judgment) and quantitatively (e.g., through utility analysis). It is important that the priorities are understood and accepted by all project participants and are regularly reviewed and adjusted.

Priorities in Decision Making

Prioritizing decision options is a central aspect of decision-making, especially in complex and multidimensional decision situations. Here, the various alternatives and criteria are weighted according to their significance and relevance to make an informed and understandable decision. Methods such as utility analysis, the decision matrix, or multi-attribute evaluation help to set priorities in decision-making and thus make an appropriate decision.

Priorities in Personal Life

In the private sphere, it is important to set priorities to lead a balanced and fulfilling life. This involves recognizing one's own values, goals, and needs and prioritizing them accordingly. This can help to make the right decisions, reduce stress, and achieve a higher level of satisfaction and well-being. Techniques such as the SMART principle (specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed) or the Wheel of Life can support identifying and pursuing priorities in personal life.

Tips for Setting Priorities

The following tips can help to effectively set and implement priorities:

  • Clarity about goals and values: Knowing and understanding one's own goals and values is the foundation for setting priorities. Only when one knows what is truly important can the right priorities be set.
  • Realistic expectations: It is important to realistically assess one's own capabilities and resources and to adjust priorities accordingly. Overburdening and overload can hinder the implementation of priorities.
  • Communication: Priorities should be communicated openly and transparently to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts and to increase the acceptance of priorities by others.
  • Flexibility: Priorities can change over time and should therefore be regularly reviewed and adjusted. Flexibility is important to be able to respond to changes and to keep the focus on the really important things.
  • Delegating and seeking help: Sometimes it is necessary to delegate tasks to other people or seek help to implement priorities successfully. This can reduce one's own burden and support the achievement of goals.


In summary, priority is a fundamental concept that finds application in many different areas. Setting priorities helps to focus limited resources such as time, money, and attention on the most significant and urgent tasks. This leads to more efficient and successful implementation of goals and tasks both in professional and personal life.