Sunday, October 2, 2011

How To Prioritize Your Tasks For Increased Productivity

It is often difficult to prioritize tasks as you react to the crisis of the moment multiple times a day. How often do you spend the bulk of your day on seemingly urgent tasks that require immediate action versus the ones that will actually make a big difference? So many times the "important" activities are the ones that get shunted aside as you respond to immediate requests and looming deadlines. Yet chances are those "important" tasks would have more of an impact on the bottom line for your business.

An ideal scenario for increased productivity would be to approach your desk every day with your work already prioritized and your schedule set up so that you have a block of time marked off for uninterrupted work. There would be nothing on the desk to divert your attention while you are working. Your sole focus would be on the current project.

Try this easy-to-implement prioritizing technique that can quickly make a difference and help to bring about this situation: Skip writing lengthy "ToDo" lists. Instead, use a single sheet of paper to record each activity. Combine this with a Daily Action file consisting of hanging file folders for each day of the month.

When you have all tasks recorded on single sheets of paper, take the following steps:

  • Decide when you will have a reasonable chance of doing this task
  • Drop it into that day's folder.
  • Before you leave in the evening, take out all of the papers for the next day and prioritize them.
  • Place them back in tomorrow's folder.
  • When you come into work in the morning, you take out the first item only and focus on that.

If several more things arise during the day that change your priorities, it is simple to reshuffle the single pages to reflect the changes. This is much more productive than looking over the same task list all day long, or shuffling through the same stacks of paper, as you weed out the non-urgent items and try to find which one you should do next.

Thanks to Key Organization / Productivity Today

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