We’ve all been there – you’ve got 100 things on your to-do list and at least half of them are urgent. You know you can’t fit them all into your day, or even your week, so how do you prioritise them?
It can seem like an impossible task, but I’ve got a few handy tips that I’ve picked up over the years, helping you to prioritise your workload effectively.
Start with active deadlines
Firstly, take a look at all of your upcoming tasks and deadlines, and organise them by time. Do any of the tasks on your list have approaching deadlines that require you to place them at top priority?
If there is work that needs delivering to a client by the end of the day, for example, then this should go to the top of the list. Others may have deadlines for a week’s time, so you can place them high up on the list but with less urgency. Determining the time priorities of your hard deadlines is the first step to getting your tasks in order.
Prioritise large tasks
One of the golden rules for productivity is to start with the biggest, scariest job on your list. It can be easy to focus on small tasks that you can get done quickly, but we end up putting off the big, important tasks as a result. If you’ve got several important tasks to do, start with the biggest! Set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself, and take on the big jobs one piece at a time.
Know when to delegate
If you have several top priority tasks to complete by the end of the day, it might not be possible to achieve on your own. If you can, delegate some of the work to your employees or colleagues so they can help you reach the deadline in time.
If you make a habit of making yourself available to help others when you have the time and ability, no one will fault you when you reach out looking for help in kind. Your coworkers will respect you all the more for it.
Technology can help
When you realise that your workload is becoming unwieldy, it’s important to get ahead of that, and start organising your work proactively.
Keeping track of everything you need to do and what’s been done already can be difficult. There are lots of tools online, many of which are free, that can help you to organise your workload and prioritise your tasks. Here are a few:
Don’t run yourself ragged trying to get everything done when your to-do list is unrealistically long. Prioritising effectively helps you manage your workload and be more productive at work.
When it looks like you are in over your head with activities, deadlines, and tasks—you can take a moment to prioritise and organise, and things won’t seem as hectic. Start by identifying pressing deadlines, and focus on making progress on your biggest projects first. Set reasonable goals for yourself, and get proactive about organising your workload with online software and tools.
If you need coaching or additional advice in this area, then get in touch online or by phone: +44 (0) 7531 228089.