How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks? To manage your time is supervising yourself the way you approach everything you do. And to prioritize tasks is about planning and managing the workload.
Task prioritization is hard for many people but also, managing ourselves is even harder to do. To manage priorities, you need to be well organized and disciplined – and only a few people have both skills. Accordingly, it is a constant challenge for many to use time in a manner that brings desired results.
If you are one of those who often struggle with time management, you need to learn how to prioritize – and understand how to manage heavy workload efficiently.
Effective Workload Management Strategies
Planning and managing daily tasks is essential. Every morning spend thirty minutes looking at how you are going to manage time and prioritize workloads.
Think about what you need to do on the day. But also remember it is not always possible to do everything on the day. That is why it is necessary to set your priorities right.
How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively
The way you prioritize tasks is important. Be careful when prioritizing tasks. Some tasks are time-sensitive, and others are not. You need to finish the time-sensitive work before you turn to others. So make sure you do not prioritize easy tasks. Just because something is simple to do does not mean it has to take up your valuable time.
What you need to consider when prioritizing is urgency. That is how soon does it matter, the importance? How much does it matter, the significance? How long does this going to matter? Then divide your priorities into four categories.
The first category – In this category are the critical and urgent tasks you need to do right away. You have to allocate more time even when it seems excessive.
Every day, people deal with new puzzling but essential and urgent tasks. And these types of tasks often involve a learning process that makes it difficult to predict the amount of time they will take to complete.
The second category – You have the important but not urgent tasks that appear essential. You can decide when to do them, but not before that in the first category.
Be careful with these types of tasks because they tend not to have deadlines and can easily slip to the back of your mind. Especially when you have other time-specific things to do.
The third category – You have the urgent but not important tasks that need to be done as quickly as possible. But when completed, they do not have lasting value. They are insignificant. Not everything that looks urgent is essential.
One example is when people send you emails labeled with High Priority Flags – it implies you must reply straight back.
It is common to want to get such tasks out of the way and off your focus to-do list. But you do not have to do it. Because the word high priority is subjective, and it is someone’s agenda.
Concentrate on your agenda and schedule emails instead of reacting to them all day. Just learn how to resist.
The fourth category – The not important and not urgent tasks. These are things you do not need to do but you want them done. The more you do things just because you want to do them, the more you waste your valuable time.
You become a person who is so busy, but what you are doing has no value. They consume your time and prevent you from completing other important tasks that have deadlines.
Avoid anything that causes distraction and procrastination or anything that forces you to multitask. Multitasking will slow you down. You can also miss out on some crucial details because when multitasking, you are splitting your attention between two or more tasks.
Keep your mobile phone away to remove the temptation of checking all the time. Make sure you only check your phone when not busy.
You can do the same with your emails and all social media gadgets. Be disciplined, and once you focus, you will be surprised how easy and beneficial to manage those things instead of the opposite.
Other Task Prioritization Methods
Learn how to Delegate – if you are in a position where you can delegate, go ahead, and do it. Taking time to delegate some of your work to others is one of the most effective ways to get essential tasks done or meet deadlines.
For a detail-oriented person – don’t get stuck in detail trying to make everything perfect. It’s good to be a perfectionist in situations where you have enough time to meet deadlines.
If you are facing a difficult decision to make, don’t stand there all day thinking about how to make a perfect one. It is simply impossible to make perfect decisions all the time. Most decisions are based on incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information.
You need to make a decision based on what information is available, especially if time is of the essence. So, just make a decision – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
And remember, you only get better at making perfect decisions by being not afraid to make bad ones!
In conclusion, some people are perfectly capable of modeling the process of what they need to do and estimate the right time. But for others, time estimation does not come naturally. And a lot of them do not feel comfortable to ask for help to learn how to estimate. So they tend to underestimate how long tasks will take and end up getting the wrong time needed to complete the work.
It is also easy to overestimate what you can do in a day – and forget to take into account other tasks or get distracted by new addition things to the to-do.
Whatever it is, do not forget to make something a priority if it has a deadline. And that means working on things while keeping that deadline in mind.
Was this article helpful to you? How do you manage priorities or task prioritization? Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.