In a perfect world, we set our own schedule, have total control of our day, and complete tasks when intended like clockwork. If only we lived in a perfect world! In general, our work responsibilities call for us to collaborate with our team to accomplish goals and our time and attention can often be pulled elsewhere. So how do you manage this? There is no one solution or set formula, but here are a few tips that could make the process easier.
5 Tips to Prioritize
1. Prepare for tomorrow's work day by spending 15 minutes before you leave work reviewing what was completed that day. Then ask yourself these questions and consider these things:
What must be completed tomorrow?
Is there a task that could be delegated to someone else or even collaborated on to finish more efficiently?
- Schedule tasks that require a lot of concentration for times when you’re less likely to be interrupted. This might be early in the morning, late in the evening, or on the weekend.
2. Instead of checking your phone or email first thing in the morning, designate a time period when you will first respond to emails and messages, even if it's only an hour after the work day begins. Try starting the day giving your greatest attention to tackling the hardest or most important task first.
3. Aim to schedule your meetings in chunks. Perhaps the first part or latter part of your day can be designated for meetings. Then the remaining parts of your day can be spent on more focused work.
4. Don't hesitate to take a break and step away! Go for a walk, read an article you've wanted to catch up on, call a friend or loved one to say hello. We all need a little time to refresh our mind. Do something that helps you recharge.
5. Say another task pops in your mind while you are having dinner with your family, enjoying a hobby, or relaxing. Make the mental note until you can jot it down, but don't dwell on it. Nine times out of 10, there is little that can be done in that moment to complete it so there is no need for it to clutter your mind.
Task Management Tools
Understandably, many people prefer the method of planning their day and crafting their to-do life using the trusted pen and paper. However, there are a few great apps that help you do the same.
- Wunderlist - the free version is enough for individuals but if you collaborate often with other people, it could be worth it to try the Pro Version for $4.99 per month. You can set reminders, create due dates, and assign to-dos, if needed.
- Trello - another great visual tool to manage to-do lists and collaborate with team members. There is a free version available along with a business and enterprise membership for a small monthly investment.
Both apps sync across all devices from your cell phone, to your desktop, laptop or tablet ensuring you have access to the information you need at any time.
We all have different strategies for productively powering through a work day. Maybe all of these 5 tips aren't ideal for you. Try implementing one, determine how helpful it is in moving the needle and make adjustments as needed. If you are looking to create a work environment that helps you get more done, more efficiently, and with less stress, don't hesitate to reach out to ISCG!
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