“Good things happen when you set your priorities straight.”- Scheduling priorities is important, as “A Goal without a plan is just a dream”.
Does prioritizing your work seem challenging? Well, this is one of the oldest workplace struggles that most professionals face. Prioritizing your work is a time management skill that every business owner, freelancer, or any professional needs to have for the better functioning of their business.
A day might not seem enough to accomplish your daily goals that include workload, deadlines, a client meets, business calls, and whatnot. What about weekly targets, monthly goals, or yearly achievements? Learning how to prioritize work, allow you to focus on your goals, reduce stress level, improve productivity, maintain work-life balance, and most importantly, help to ignore FOMO. Keep a check on your priority list so that it does not get piled up.
Keep a check on your priority list so that it does not get piled up. Read this article to know how to prioritize work and focus on goals to make the most out of your workday.
Even if you learn and understand how to keep yourself focused, the excessive load of work may get you confused as to how to prioritize tasks. So, let’s sort out first how to prioritize your work!
How to prioritize work?
Implementing prioritizing strategies can drastically change the curve of your work productivity. Follow the below steps to evaluate your top priorities and keep unimportant tasks from messing up your to-do-lit.
1. Create a master list to identify your goals:
To prioritize your work properly creating a master list of tasks is vital. Even add the most mundane tasks to get a clear picture to achieve your goals. Everything dumped inside your brain slows down your thinking capability. Hence, narrow down a list of the most important tasks to reduce your load, and at the same time meet the deadlines in time.
2. Access the urgent and important task by applying Eisenhower Matrix:
It is quite obvious that all your work is important, but this ‘everything is important’ paradox does not help you achieve your goals. Apply the Eisenhower Matrix to identify which are urgent, which are important, or both or neither of them. This way it becomes easier for you to decide which work needs to be on the top of your priority list.
Eisenhower Matrix: Dwight Eisenhower- former US president, developed this matrix to simplify the sorting of urgent and important tasks. This four-quadrant box helps you decide which task should be on the top of your priority list.
The most complicated thing to decide is- ‘urgent but not important task. This is where delegation comes into the picture. Decide who is going to do it for you, and explain to him/her about the task properly to get things done.
3. Separate the tasks with similar priorities by ABCDE Method:
Once you are done prioritizing and ranking it as per importance, separate the similar task with the same priorities. Check the list of work and assign each with a letter from A to E (with descending order of their priorities). For example, assign ‘A’ to the highest priority task, ‘B’ to the medium priority task, and so on.
4. Be ready and open for changes to improve productivity:
It is important to understand that priorities are not permanent, they might change anytime. A client may come up with an urgent task, and then you need to rearrange your priority list accordingly. Be ready for any changes for the sake of your business growth.
5. Know what to drop:
When you have a bulk of the worklist, then it is wise not to run after accomplishing all your work on the same day. Arrange your priority list and drop the less important one and keep them for another day. This way you save a lot of time, and achieving daily goals becomes simply a lot easier.
You may be thinking how can it be difficult to focus on a project if you are passionate about it? There are thousands of ways that can distract you. Here’s how you can stay focused!
Learn how to focus on your goals
Accomplishing your goals may seem difficult, no matter how well you prioritize. Distractions may make it more complicated. Being a professional it is essential to stay motivated on your long-term goals for improved work efficiency. After you learn how to prioritize work, you must master the art of being focused on your goals. Here are some tips for that!
1. Stop multitasking and identify a few goals:
Stepping back is not always a failure, instead, it boosts your momentum to achieve success. A long list may tempt you to multitask but hold yourself from committing such mistakes. When your to-do list is lengthy, chalk out which are your immediate priorities. Go for the immediate ones first. Concentrating on multiple tasks may lead to serious issues that would demand heavy compensation.
2. Break down your goals and block out yourself:
To make your goals attainable break them down into smaller steps. Moreover, block out your day with specific tasks to accomplish your larger goals.
3. Take the help of technology to measure your progress:
Evaluating your performance is vital to track your progress. Measure each goal set by you regularly to set a milestone for the entire day. Implementing online software would help you understand how you spend your day and which tasks consume more time. These would help you understand how to prioritize work and set daily goals.
4. Share your goals with accountable partners:
It is often seen that accountability results in enhanced productivity. Business owners or freelancers are not accountable to anyone, and therefore they do not have anyone to share their goals with. Consulting a friend or colleague and asking them to be accountable for them could give better results. In some cases, friends could help you out with unique ideas or advice that could prove to be beneficial for the growth of your business.
5. Streamline your communication:
Getting yourself out of the relentless deluge of emails is difficult, but you have a way out. Streamline your communication by calling out the concerned person without indulging in replying to emails. This will give utmost clarity, and work gets done without further issues. Decide which works out well for you and take the necessary steps.
6. Cut out distractions to focus on your goals:
Social media and online platforms are productivity killers. Lock your smartphones until you are done with the specified target for the day. The more you manage to keep yourself away from such distraction, the more focused you remain.
7. Refresh yourself for better productivity:
Prolonged working hours seem boring and tiresome. You need to freshen up in fixed intervals to boost up your energy level. But social media surfing won’t help you in this. Check out what you can try instead.
Take out some time and get yourself indulged in physical activities. Meditation and yoga is the best healer for work stress. Join a yoga class or arrange an office outing so that everyone gets to enjoy and relax amidst the workloads and daily commitments.
Listen to music:
There is nothing that can beat the healing power of music. Whether physical pain or mental stress, listening to music gives effective results. Listen to music in between your work to refresh your mood.
Find an appropriate environment to speed up your work:
An appropriate work environment that is neither too noisy nor too quiet is just perfect to keep you focused. Make your workplace engaging by adding some creative artworks, plants, and other stuff.
A quick recap on effective prioritization
Learning the importance of prioritizing your work may make the process complicated. Let’s summarize what all discussed earlier.
- Note down everything in one place to have a clear picture.
- Evaluate your larger goals for better understanding.
- Break down large goals into smaller ones and accomplish your periodic targets.
- Make your deadlines very clear to avoid missing out on them.
- Segregate urgent and important tasks for effective prioritization.
- Avoid the distractions that come along your way to success.
- Brush up your task list to prioritize your work according to your effort.
“Being busy and being productive are two different things.”- Therefore, prioritizing is essential to accomplish your goal. Staying busy due to some unimportant task will not bear the desired results. If you are still under the pile of files, apply the above hacks to pull yourself out and enjoy the essence of accomplishment.