How many of you come into the office on a Monday morning with an endless stream of unopened emails, voice messages, and a to do list as long as your yearly bucket list…. Well, I know I do.
Finding time to priorities tasks can take as long as it takes to phathom just how much there is to do. This is why it can be more effective to prioritise time rather than tasks, let me explain what I mean…
When we prioritise tasks we tend to spend longer on those at the top of our list, and neglect the ones further down. When we do this we tend to believe that we have used our time effectively – when in reality we have just spent too much time on chosen tasks.
So how can we stop ourselves from doing this? It’s easy, set an allocated amount of time and stick to it! Time management is all about working smarter which subsequently means achieving meaningful results in a shorter time frame. Working smarter also involves identifying your personal strengths and weaknesses in order to utilise your skills and reach your goals effectively.
The below tips will highlight some useful ways to prioritise your time and work in the most efficient way…
Quit the idea of multi-tasking
Being able to multi-task is often viewed as a valuable skill both at work and in everyday circumstances. However, it can be argued that multi-tasking (doing more than one thing at the same time) is in fact counterproductive because our minds are not focussed on one thing. When we are not solely focused on something we produce half assed results. The quality of work is substandard.
An effective way of staying focussed on one thing would be to simply switch off any distractions. For example if you know your girls are engaging in an intense chat on Wats App, it’s probably best to switch off all notifications. This goes for anything you do not want to distract you. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done when you put all of your attention in to one thing.
Be realistic; if you can’t take on more work say no
We’re all guilty of saying yes to extra work in order to look like a reliable employee, or in some instances to earn a few extra coins. The cons of over committing our time and energy to work we can’t handle outway the pros. Not only will you feel the pressure to get your work done, but you now have added pressure to complete an extra intake of tasks. Ultimately this can create stress and also affect your productivity and standard of work.
Stay focused on what you want to achieve
Being productive means engaging in tasks which will help you progress in your desired areas, whether it’s personally or professionally. But to know that you are being productive you need to have clear idea of what your ultimate goal is. Have you asked yourself what you want to achieve? And will what you are doing get you there? These are two very important questions which we often forget to ask ourselves.
As mentioned above, going through heaps of emails on a Monday morning may seem productive but in hindsight what have you achieved by neglecting the tasks that are part of your progression?
It might help to make a list of your goals to help you narrow your focus and identify where and how your time needs to be spent.
Save time by making your work life easier. Create folders so that you know where everything is. It’s amazing how much time we spend going through documents online simply because we do not have them stored in folders. In addition, It can also help to create templates where possibl. This will save you from replicating the same pieces of work and content over and over again.
How do you prioritse your time? Comment below