by Gregory Lambelin on Jul 30, 2015 3:25:21 PM
Where do I begin? How to prioritize your tasks for the best productivity
Are you buried under a mountain of work? Do you feel like you're working hard all day and not really accomplishing anything? Understanding which tasks have priority to complete is an important skill you’ll need to master in order to be optimally productive in your workday.
So, what do you do when you try to tackle your tasks by priority, but it feels like everything is important? Don’t get overwhelmed. Everyone faces this problem. Maybe someone’s on leave, so now their tasks are your tasks on top of all your original work. Or, you just got back from vacation, and have a mountain of work, and don’t know where to start. It can be difficult to skillfully juggle multiple priorities and competing responsibilities, but it’s not impossible.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a breath. Relax. Then, think about what it is that you and your team are trying to accomplish. Focusing on your end goal makes it easy to priorities your tasks, because once you know what you need to accomplish, the how generally falls into place.
Time management pit falls
These time management traps are easy to fall into. Being aware of them can help you avoid them, and be a more productive worker.
Taking D-wight approach to prioritizing
“I have two kinds of problems: The urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
So, now that you know what not to do, what can you do to help prioritize your task list? Former president Eisenhower was said to use the above quote to organize his workload and priorities. So what does it mean?
Let’s start by making a list of all the projects you need to do. Try to include everything that takes up time during your work day: Answering phone calls and voice mails, email, paperwork, meetings, as well as actual work that needs to be done. Now that you have your list, try to put them into one of these four categories:
Once you can label all your tasks appropriately, you should be able to easily prioritize.
What else can I do?
You’ve got Eisenhower’s approach in the bag. Is there more you can do to help streamline your day, and maximize your priorities? Of course.
Now that you have a comprehensive idea of the Eisenhower Principle, and how it can help you achieve your goals, what are you waiting for? Go forth and prioritize! And get lots done while you’re at it.