Does your to-do list for the week turn out longer by the end of the week rather than being completed? If so, then you’re likely feeling stressed out about how much work you need to finish and feeling like you don’t have enough time. This problem is usually an indicator that you’re not accurately differentiating between urgent and important tasks. An important task leads you closer to your goal, whereas an urgent task demands immediate attention but doesn’t lead you closer to your goals. Urgent tasks usually have to do with someone else’s goals.
To start feeling accomplished on Friday evenings because you completed your week’s to-do list or at least the most important items on the list, implement the following time management strategies:
The priority matrix activity categorizes tasks from your to-do list on a graph with four quadrants. Your most important tasks that need to be completed go in the first quadrant (upper right-hand quadrant). These are high in importance and urgency. What’s second highest in priority is tasks that are important but not urgent. Third in priority are to-dos that are urgent but not important. Tasks that are neither important nor urgent are at the bottom of the priority list.
If you choose to graph your priority matrix, tasks that are low in importance and urgency are in the third quadrant. For those who don’t like graphing, you can still use the priority matrix as a chart and label the quadrants in a way that works best for you. As long as you’re evaluating tasks based on how important and urgent they are with importance being of greater necessity, you’re good to go.
Schedule Your Commitments
“What gets scheduled gets done.” If you want to boost your productivity and finish all of your important to-dos for the week, you should schedule them on your calendar. Allot yourself a certain amount of time to finish the task. Although you want to allow yourself sufficient time to complete the task without sacrificing quality, you should also experiment with decreasing the amount of time you allow because it can push you to focus harder, thus completing the task faster than you originally thought possible. When you try limiting your time spent on a task, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Embrace the Concept Of “Work Smarter, Not Harder”
People have a tendency to work harder, longer hours when they’re not accomplishing everything they want. However, you only have 24 hours in a day, and you need to sleep for 5-8 of those hours for the sake of good health. If you’re not finishing as many projects as you would like, tell yourself to work smarter not harder. There are hundreds of tips and techniques for boosting productivity, managing time more efficiently, and learning faster. Put them to good use!
Group Related Tasks Together
Another technique for completing your work faster is to group related tasks together while planning your work schedule. For example, work on social media tasks back-to-back rather than in between other to-dos because it will prevent how many times your brain has to switch modes. It takes time for your brain to shift into the different mindset it needs for the task you’re working on. When it doesn’t have to change its processes, you’ll stay in the zone longer, thus being able to finish the to-dos quicker.
Tasks range in varying levels of importance. An example of something high in importance is paying your employees on time. Urgent tasks, on the other hand, feel very important but when you take a step back you’ll see that they sometimes aren’t as important as you thought. If an urgent task IS important, then it really is something you should get done first. Organize your to-do list based on important and urgent, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither. It will help you recognize what REALLY needs to be worked on next, so you can finish the week satisfied with your productivity and task completion.