Prioritizing cannot be overemphasized when it comes to effective time management.
It can be difficult to know what tasks to tackle first, especially when a flood of tasks all seem urgent.
It is, however, relatively easy to prioritize activities if you have clear goals already set.
Ask yourself three basic questions to know what tasks should take first priority:
Why am I doing this task or activity?
How does this task help me achieve my goals?
To what extent does this task I’m doing help me achieve my goals?
Do the most important things first.
1.Keep a Task List
A task list (or a “to-do list”) is a reminder system that tells you when you need to do what. Keeping a “to-do list” helps you remain organized and on top of things. It helps break things down into small, manageable tasks or steps so that you never forget to do the important stuff. Don’t try to remember everything you need to do in your head. In most cases, trying to remember everything won’t work. Instead, keep a to-do list. A simple daily, weekly or monthly planner or a diary will work a treat.
Write down the things you need to do, including meetings, appointments and deadlines. Prioritize items on your list by listing items in order of importance from high priority to low priority items or highlighting urgent or important tasks on your list with an asterisk. Cross out completed tasks as often as you add new tasks on your task list to ensure you keep moving forward.
2. Focus on one task at a time
Do not multitask, for instance talk on the phone and work on a spreadsheet or file, as you will actually spend between 20 and 40 percent more time getting things done when you multitask. Besides costing you time and efficiency, multitasking can also reduce the quality of your work.
3. Minimize distractions
Whether it’s reading an email, or taking a phone calls from a friend, distractions are a hindrance to effective use of time. Distractions break your concentration, lower your productivity and often prevent you from completing important tasks on time. They can also cause stress when you are feeling constantly behind in completing the tasks on time.
Identify what is distracting you from doing core tasks and put a stop to it. Just do whatever it takes to minimize distractions. This ensures you take control of your days and maximizes your productivity.
4. Overcome Procrastination
Never put off what can be done today – for example, tasks that you should be focusing on right now instead of procrastinating. Push yourself a little harder to beat procrastination and get what needs to be done DONE.
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Learning a different way of doing things takes patience and perseverance.
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