Do you find yourself overwhelmed by all the things you need to achieve in a day? Do you have difficulty meeting deadlines or staying “on task”? Do you find yourself caught up in the little details when you need to be looking at the big picture? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could use some help prioritising. Prioritising is an amazing tool that, when used correctly, can reduce stress, improve your effectiveness and efficiency and add hours to your day.
Prioritise your Day!
To commence prioritising, make a list of every single thing you need to do, or achieve, today. When new things pop up, be sure to add them to your list. A diary, hard copy or online style, or dedicated notepad is a great place to keep this list, as it is less likely to get lost than a single piece of paper.
Next you need to look at each item individually, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the item URGENT? and
- Is the item IMPORTANT?
By asking these questions you will have four possible outcomes.
- URGENT and IMPORTANT
- URGENT but not important
- IMPORTANT but not urgent
- Not important and not urgent
Once you have given each of your tasks or items a number (1-4), you are now ready to move on.
Obviously Number 1’s take priority and must be given your immediate attention. Delete Number 4’s. If they’re not important and not urgent, why are you wasting your time doing them? Delegate some tasks.
For those with an assistant, or lucky enough to use a service such as Bauhinia Solutions, here is where your Administration Assistant / Virtual Assistant really comes into his or her own. Hand over ALL item 2’s to your Assistant to deal with. If you are using an online diary system, it’s a simple copy and paste of the items from your notes into an email and off it goes to your assistant. Once you have dealt with anything with a number 1 or 2, it’s time to move onto those items with a number 3. Once everything with a 3 is marked off, you are done. If you MUST complete your number 4’s, have your assistant do those.
As your day progresses, you will no doubt have more items to add to your list. Continue to prioritise these into the four numbers and tend to them accordingly.
You can see in the table that anything on the bottom level can be delegated. Rule of thumb indicates that you will need to take care of top level items, but if your assistant is good, utilise them! Free up your own time to spend in your business, making business!
These few simple steps can make a big difference to missing and making deadlines, working harder and longer than you need to, and easing stress levels. Why not try it for a fortnight and let me know how you go?
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.