Do you have a plan for your workday? No? Don’t panic it is completely normal and happens to a lot of people. However, if you want to save yourself stressful situations or possibility to miss deadlines read this article.
If you struggle with your everyday work and your to-do list is a mile and growing you need a plan! A good plan though includes how to prioritize work so you’d know which tasks you should do first.
Prioritize work and manage your time so you’d get much more from your workday
I wasn’t a perfect organized professional back in the day. To be honest I was terrible at time management and I didn’t know how to prioritize work. I’ve used almost every possible distractions. Thinking that problem maybe will solve itself or disappear. After a time I have found the perfect solution that works for me. In this article, I want to share it with you.
A little bit my story
It’s a Monday morning and you’ve just opened your inbox. You are still half asleep and needs a big cup of coffee to wake up. While trying to focus on your core tasks for today you just follow your inbox. The number of unread messages it’s 100 and growing and you just don’t want to start this day already. Plus in 5 min there’s a weekly brief with your boss and you know that you need at least another week to do everything. Do you have a plan for today or not?
I can bet there is no plan in your mind, I get it.
I used to be that person once. With so many tasks on my to-do list that I’ve started to panic and tried to multitask all of them at once. While I was trying to complete them, none of them was done on time. I’ve thought I have to be great in multitask and do ten things at once. I was stressed and upset and I didn’t enjoy my work, cause I always had at least one full page of my to do tasks every single day.
It took me a while to realize I have to change my approach and start to plan and prioritize work.
I’ve made 5 time management common mistakes you probably are making too:
- Not creating my plan or schedule for my workday,
- Being overwhelmed with my out of control to do list,
- Not having morning ritual at work
- Being too nice and saying yes for any other side work that wasn’t my core duties,
- Having emails notifications open up all day
How to Prioritize work
Finally, I have found a system that helps me prioritize tasks and my workload. What can I say- it’s working fantastic! If I was able to change made approach you can definitely follow my steps and avoid stress at your workspace.
I use Eisenhower matrix knows as the urgent-important matrix to prioritize work- all of my tasks from a to-do list. How is that working for me?
The idea is to use criteria urgent/not urgent and important/not important and place each task into relevant quadrant on the matrix so we could develop different work strategies for each quadrant.
- Important and urgent- First quarter needs to be done first as soon as possible today or tomorrow at the latest.
- Important but not urgent. The second quarter should be scheduled and all tasks should have a deadline and you should put them on your calendar. You can do important things before they will become urgent when you using this method.
- Not important but urgent. The third quadrant is for tasks you can delegate. Not as much important for you to do but still pretty urgent and needs to be done. This is the good start for working with a virtual assistant as you can delegate it and focus on more important quadrant 1 and 2
- Not important and not urgent. The last quadrant is called delete it. If something is not important and nor urgent there is no point for you to do it at all.
Few more tips for you
Now you know how to prioritize tasks you can follow few simple time management tips so you could achieve more within your matrix:
- Assign every task from your to-do list to matrix
- Set a limit for yourself – 5 tasks for each quadrant and do not add any new before you will complete the old ones
- Track your time when doing the first quadrant so you can know how much time you spend on it. I’d recommend using free tool Toggl which can track your time and gives you a full breakdown of your time spent on each task.
- Do not let other people manage your prioritization matrix. It’s really important that you do your own priorities.
You can use the whole range of time and project management tools so they can be the great add-on to your prioritization workbook and will help you on a day to day basis. I use Toggl for track my time and Trello for managing my tasks. For project management, Asana is good as well. All of the above tools have free plans so you can successfully use them for your small business.
A little bit more time management tricks
Below you have a bit more time management tricks that help me achieving more in my work life. I thought I’d share them with you so you can implement them in your life as well.
- Stop multitasking – start monotasking and try to avoid distractions,
- Break down big projects into smaller parts so one big project won’t be so scary
- Remember that 20% of non-interrupt work will generate 80% results.
- Start your most difficult task in your high-energy time.
- Allow time to unexpected – always leave some time for work in quadrant 1
- Plan your work by blocks: working time + relax time
- Try to not be in control for at of the time and relax!
Now with my tips, you can gain control over your own time! You can start to plan your day and prioritize your work. Get prioritization workbook today and start to plan your next moves! Sign in below and download it for free.