Have you ever gone into work or walked into a classwork, or even your own home bombarded with tons of work to do? Without even starting, your body feels drained and your mind switches to shut down mode, you become overwhelmed, your mind drifts from completing the task to worrying about someone maliciously taking your last mango off your tree!!
I know, I can relate because it does happen! I caught myself multiple times feeling anxious, then the procrastination kicks in and before you know it you are unable to handle the stress and face a dip in your productivity. Even if you’re strong-minded those negative feelings tend to slip through that sealed crack you’ve been paving to successfully reach your day-to-day targets. Prioritization skills become a handy tool in such cases and allow professionals to plan their day in a manner that not only creates value, but creates the right value.
I’ve found excellent solutions to my problems which are super beneficial with everything I do! Here are few ways you can consider doing that might just work for you:
Grill the boss, don’t be afraid!
At work, you have a manager. At home, you’re your own boss. One of the primary responsibilities of any manager is to help you understand what’s important, what’s not, and what you should be working on. You may have a manager at the office who does this (or needs your help doing it well), but everywhere else, you’re in charge of your own work, and no one’s going to tell you that backing up your data is more important right now than painting the house. It’s easy to give up and think “it’s all important,” but at work, you can lean in and tell your boss that you really need their help. At home, sometimes you just must pick something from your to-do list and get started to build some momentum.
Being able to distinguish between ` urgent’ and ` important’ tasks.
I find this one to be the most effective way personally and professionally, the best-known way of dealing with a flood of emails, many clients/candidates to follow up on, projects and presentations, etc. The focus should, therefore, be placed on `important’ work, which is usually more strategic in nature.
See if you have any tasks that need immediate attention and if not completed soon, will have serious negative impact on business and people.
You’re probably wondering “how am I able to evaluate value importance when they all might be important???”… well with that being said… First, answer the question: “Is everything really important?” you can scan the list and identify highest value-adding tasks. Determine the amount of efforts expected to be invested on each activity and set the order accordingly. If you’re like me then you should feel less tense after reading the above.
Work Backwards. “Begin with the End in Mind”
You probably have an idea of when each of your tasks are due or at least when you’d like them done by… right? Start with the due dates, consider how much effort you need to put into each one and how much input you need from others, and work backwards to find out what you should be working on right now (or what you should have already started, in some cases).
Time spent on planning activities saves sufficient time in execution, BALANCE!
On a regular basis, prioritizing not only makes a person more efficient at daily work-related activities, but also gives them the latitude to focus on their personal goals. It helps strike the right balance to handle both, their professional and personal life.
You should have clarity on what is expected from who is expecting the work to be done; this enables you to prioritize better. For instance, when the employer engages employees every day in analysing and solving problems, they feel highly motivated, excited to get started to have the work dealt with immediately and accurately. You should have an understanding on what needs to be done. This makes a HUGH difference in your life!
Cover Your Butt!!
Finally, once you’ve taken some time to determine what’s really important and arranged them based on what you think you should tackle first, it’s time to put it in writing and share it with everyone involved. Set expectations with others for when you’ll get your work done for them, and set expectations with yourself for when you’ll have time to work on your own projects. This is more important in a work setting, but involving others in your non-work to-dos can also keep you, and others accountable.
Lexie Solomon, Recruitment Administrator