The reason that task management is so important in relation to setting proper priorities is when things change, things come up, or emergencies arise (it is just a matter of when), you can quickly identify a new or changed priority and put it into your mix of tasks.
A very useful method that I have found is the A, B, C, D, E method in order to identify the importance of tasks. An A task is a top priority task that needs to be done today or in the next 24 hours. A B task is a task that needs to be done between two days and the next week. A C task has the priority between one week and one month. D, however...
The final letter for priorities is E which stands for Eliminate - basically, this is deciding not to do this task. You will be amazed how many things, if left on their own or eliminated, you will discover that was really not that important. This does not mean eliminating those things that you do not like to do and are procrastinating. The E task takes proper motives to eliminate successfully. In The Effective Executive in Action, Peter Drucker says, "I have yet to see an executive, regardless of rank or station, who could not consign a quarter of the demands on his time to the wastebasket without anybody's noticing their disappearance" (Drucker, 2006, pg. 17).
It takes true dedication to manage our priorities with precision. However, creating this habit will help the onslaught of demands we face. Having a plan can cure the anxiety we face as leaders and managers.
If you find this useful or already have success prioritizing tasks please share your comments below.