Peripheral Visions

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How to Prioritize Important Workday Tasks

Does the thought of not finishing another ‘to-do’ list item make you feel uneasy? One of the hardest tasks to accomplish in the work day is prioritizing what is important and what should be pushed down the list. If you are struggling to keep all your tasks organized by importance, it may help you to have a guide. Determine what an average day looks like at the job and then grab a piece of paper and get started here, in prioritizing your workday.

  • Assess your average day: While everyday will not be a carbon copy of the next, figuring out on paper or in a calendar format your normal day will help. Once you’ve written down your day, look through and figure out which items require you and which one’s could be deferred to someone else. Often times we try to micromanage projects that others are in charge of, or under manage personal work that we are solely responsible for. You may be able to prioritize your tasks by using this simple method.
  • Determine your weak/strong areas: Prioritizing your own self strengths and weaknesses can help determine where you need to spend time during your day. If you are good at organizing the company files, but poor at running the weekly staff meeting, ask for help in the weak areas to save time, energy and frustration. In your spare time gain extra help from a coworker or seek out helpful tools to help you manage others more effectively. This will motivate you to keep up your strengths while building your week spots and helping you prioritize at the same time.
  • Divide tasks into categories: In order to effectively determine what holds highest and lowest priorities, categorize your list of to-do items. For example, client tasks and personal tasks can be split into separate areas for each to be assessed individually. When your list isn’t so overwhelming with one long list, the shorter lists helps you put the day’s tasks into real perspective. As you accomplish tasks throughout the day, move secondary items to first position to tackle or reassess. Many people will use Microsoft Outlook’s task manager to help organize their daily tasks. Two other free, web based solutions are RememberTheMilk.com and TaDaList.com (a product of 37Signals).  Both of the sites integrate with most smart phones, Google Calendar and even Outlook. You can access them from the computer or on the go with your mobile device which is very convenient.
  • Weigh the milestones: Once you have done the above steps, consider the importance of the individual milestones. Time, money, energy, are all milestones that may sway where you prioritize your tasks. Depending on your personal milestone, do the items that will weigh more on your importance list if they weren’t done. This will help you form your priority list in an effective and useful way.

Prioritizing is a skill that many are able to accomplish effortlessly, while for others it takes work. Whichever is your scenario, learn to understand yourself and tackle your to-do list head on. With these simple tips your day will be much more manageable and enjoyable. There is no better feeling than being productive!

Categories: Business Tips

 

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