Do you ever find yourself bogged down with everything that needs to get done at work? You know you can do everything on your list, but you’re struggling where to start. Let us help you with a little thing called prioritization.
Prioritization should be clear and well thought out, but with a hint of flexibility. By implementing prioritization strategies, you can change the way you work, reduce stress, and get things done.
The following tips will help you evaluate and organize your priorities:
- Make a list of all your tasks – It all starts with understanding the full extent of what needs to be done. Write down everything that need to be done including personal AND work tasks so you can get a full picture.
- Understand your long-term goals – To effectively prioritize, you need to understand what you’re really working toward, whether it’s a promotion, career change, completing your task on a large project, or taking up a new hobby, . Now, take your list and strike out any tasks that are not helping you achieve your long-term goals!
- Highlight what’s urgent – You should also associate deadlines for each task, which will clearly identify what must be completed promptly and to plan your future days ahead. However, remember to be realistic with your deadlines.
- Prioritize based on importance and urgency – Now that you’ve got your list of tasks and a clear understanding of the important (urgent!) ones, categorize your remaining list according to importance and urgency. For example, the categories could be:
- Urgent and important: already listed – this are what you need to do first and foremost – make the time for these early in your day to maximize your chances of getting them done!
- Important but not urgent: Schedule time in your calendar when you can work on these tasks without interruptions.
- Urgent but unimportant: Be sure to delegate these tasks as much as possible. If it’s not important to you, are you the best person to be working on that task?
- Neither urgent or important: Remove these from your to-do list altogether. They will only clutter up your list and take away from your focus.
- Avoid competing priorities/distractions – Although you may be able to handle multi-tasking when working on simple tasks, it will likely get in the way of quality and performance when it comes to more onerous and important tasks. Identify your likely distractions and make an effort to avoid them throughout the day (that means putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode!).
- Put effort-level into consideration – If you are feeling overwhelmed with the length of your to-do list, consider the effort-level of each of your tasks. Are there simple tasks that you could clear off of your list right away? They may not necessarily be “Urgent and Important”, but by clearing some of them off of your list, you can get refocused and give yourself a dopamine rush to boot!
- Review constantly and be realistic – Don’t forget to review your to-do list and make any necessary changes to the urgency and importance. Doing this regularly will give you a solid grasp on your workload and the progress you’ve made towards your end-goals.
The purpose of prioritization is to spend as much time as possible working on the most important tasks that will get you to your end-goal. When this is planned well, you should feel in control and ready to tackle each day.
No matter how much you prioritize, there is only so much you can accomplish in a day, and certain distractions will be impossible to avoid – so go easy on yourself! Take it one day at a time and always come back to your list of priorities if you feel you are losing focus. Do this, and we are positive you will “Crush It”, no matter what “it” is!
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