Do you find yourself swamped at work? Too many tasks for you to possibly complete? Don’t know where to start? It can be hard to set priorities in a business when everything seems urgent. To help you get a handle on setting the priorities that will actually help you move your business forward, here are some tips.
Make a list.
First thing’s first – write it all down! You can even try downloading apps for to-do lists on your phone, or use an online service that can sync on all your devices and even your email inbox.
Mark tasks as important, urgent, both, or neither. In a speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower said, quoting Dr. Miller, president of Northwestern University: “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” You can use the “Eisenhower Principle” to organize your tasks.
- Urgent tasks usually demand attention, have a deadline, and are often addressed first because not dealing with them will lead to more immediate consequences.
- Important tasks usually lead to achieving personal or professional goals.
According to the Eisenhower Principle, the order in which you should tackle your tasks (from highest priority to least) is important and urgent, important but not urgent, not important but urgent, and finally not important and not urgent.
Do you really need to be personally doing all of the tasks on your plate? For example, if you helped organize an event, even though you know the plan the best, you do not need to book the venue, type up the schedule, and send out the emails all yourself – that’s something others can do. Instead, you can focus your efforts on other tasks that require your pre-planning skills. Then next time, you know you can rely on others to carry it through after you’re done planning. The tasks that are not important but urgent are the best tasks to delegate. For more tips on delegating, check out this link.
After trying to carry out these tips, look back on how you’re doing at the end of every week. After all, Gandhi said, “Action expresses priorities.” What are you spending your time doing? Are you getting the important tasks done? Or are you stuck on trying to complete only the both important and urgent tasks? Consider your time management when prioritizing as well. Stay flexible, and don’t be afraid to change! At the same time, reward yourself if you have improved.
Prioritizing and delegating your work may not change overnight, but it is an important skill to learn. It may be difficult at first, choosing to spend your time doing certain things over others. But remember, the mark of a great person is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones!
Need help sorting through what should be priorities to streamline your business? I can help! Contact me today and let’s get started.