When you’re faced with an ever growing to-do list, learning to prioritise your tasks is vital, not only for your productivity but for your own sanity and wellbeing. But with every task appearing urgent, how do you prioritise so that you make the most out of every day?
To help you I thought I would share how I prioritise my to-do list to ensure my time is spent as productively and profitably as possible.
1. Plan and list your tasks
First thing Monday morning or Sunday evening if that works better for you, plan your week ahead. List out all tasks, meetings and calls so you can get an accurate idea of what you need to accomplish throughout the week and then rank them according to importance or urgency.
2. Review your workload regularly
Is there a task that you always put at the bottom? If you find you’re avoiding it, can someone else do it? Consider delegating or if you can’t delegate set a time to complete it. Often the hardest part is to start so take a lesson from Nike and just do it, you will feel so much better once it’s completed.
3. Set realistic deadlines for your task
Once you have your task list in front of you, fill in the due dates and timeframes you need to achieve tasks in. Be honest and realistic about what you can achieve in a working day or week so that you don’t end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
4. Cater for interruptions
Interruptions are inevitable so build time into your schedule each day where you can deal with them, though only allow yourself to deal with urgent queries during this time. Your first priority should always be the work that will have consequences if you don’t finish it within the set deadline.
5. Don’t let your inbox drive your schedule
With the amount of emails and urgent requests received daily, it can be easy to let your inbox determine the priorities of your to-do list. Resist the urge and instead switch off alerts and allocate set times to check your emails throughout the day. If you get 50 emails a day that’s 50 interruptions, don’t let other peoples priorities become yours.
How do you prioritise your work tasks?