Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? You may feel like you are doing your job and everyone else’s jobs around you. If you do not learn how to prioritize your work, you can quickly become discouraged. When your work is not prioritized, people can view you as frantic and unorganized, this is not an image you want to portray. Here are some effective tips on how to prioritize work and increase performance.
Make A List
Create a daily to-do list. If you write down what you need to do, you will improve your chances of completing your tasks. In addition, when you are extremely busy, you tend to forget important tasks. Creating a list can help you avoid this problem. A list can help you feel more organized, resulting in reduced stress and better performance.
Once you have created your list, you need to determine how to prioritize the work and each of the individual tasks and the ultimate goals which those tasks will achieve. You then need to break down each task to see which dependencies you may have and how that impacts the importance of successfully reaching each goal.
There are three factors you need to look at when doing this:
- Timeline – What needs to be done and when. Consider how much time you have, this can vary immensely. For example, you may have a task that needs to be completed within the next hour and a task that needs to be completed before the end of the month. Determining a timeline is essential in how you will prioritize your work.
- Goals – Which tasks fall in line with your personal and organizational goals? Will completing them help to achieve those goals? Make sure your list does not have tasks that are of no benefit.
- Immediate Needs versus Long Term Goals – Make sure that each task needs to be on your list. Are there some things that you view as immediate needs that will not help you achieve your long-term goals? If there are, you might consider eliminating some of these types of tasks from your list.
By reviewing your to-do list, you can determine which tasks can be delegated and which tasks need to be done personally by you. You can also discover which tasks can be more efficiently accomplished by others or within a team environment. Delegating those tasks or working with others on certain tasks can help reduce your workload.
Remember, if people are available to help you, let them help you. The purpose of prioritizing work is to realize that doing all the tasks yourself does not necessarily mean that it will be done better; if you do too much, or do it in an inefficient manner, or in the wrong order, you are just creating yourself more stress and fatigue.
Once you have delegated the tasks on your list, re-check your goals to ensure that you aren’t missing anything critical to accomplish the goal. Prioritizing work allows you to have a plan in place so that even if someone misses a target, you have options for what to do next.
These tips, if put to practice, can help you to prioritize your work, make you more confident, and increase your productivity.