In today’s fast moving work environment, the ability to prioritize your tasks is one of the prized assets that an employee or business manager can have. More often than not, we find ourselves with a to-do list that almost seems endless.
When faced with an endless number of tasks, even the most hardworking employees and business people can be stressed out. What should I do first? That is the question that most people ask themselves when confronted with an overwhelming work load.
Tips for prioritizing your tasks
In order to ensure that your productivity remains high, it is necessary to select the right tasks to do first.
Here are a few useful ideas for prioritizing your tasks effectively:
- Make a comprehensive task list
The first step toward prioritizing your takes is to come up with a task list that has a brief description about what each task is all about. This will help you remember things that need to be done and give you an idea about the extent of your total workload.
- Ranks the items on your list
The next step involves ranking the items on your task list according to how important they are. After the ranking has been done, write down all the items on another sheet of paper in descending order of importance.
While ranking your tasks, three things have to be kept in mind:
- The urgency of the task (as determined by its deadline)
- The potential impact, in financial and non-financial terms, of not completing it on time
- The time required to complete it
Let us discuss each of these three factors in turn:
· The urgency of the tasks
Always make sure that you respect deadlines that have already been decided. Making requests to extend deadlines can often leave a negative impression in the minds of your clients and portray you as being unprofessional in your dealings.
Focus on tasks that are close to deadlines and try to finish them first. Refrain from asking for a deadline extension until it absolutely necessary.
· The potential impact
Some projects can have a larger impact than others. While it is important to respect deadlines, sometimes you need to shift your focus to tasks that can have a greater financial or non-financial impact on your career and personal life.
· The time required for completion
Sometimes, a project can take a very large amount of time to complete. In such cases, you might have to lower the priority level of the task because it could jeopardize the completion of several other projects, and some of them could be quite important. Be sure to pursue those projects first which can be completed without causing delays.
- Strictly pursue your list
Every now and then, you might be tempted to stray from the order on your list and tackle the easier jobs first. Avoid doing that! Stick to the list no matter what. You’ll have to sacrifice your personal preferences to maintain a reasonable level of productivity.
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