Monday, October 13, 2008

Prioritising Your Day to Accomplish More

This article is perfect for figuring out if you work too much or spend too much time relaxing. Read about work habits that are just right & healthy for you & your work.

Prioritising Your Day To Accomplish More
by Carol Halsey

Prioritising is a very important function of being organised. It is another method that puts you in control of your work responsibilities. In order to effectively prioritise, learn to recognise the difference between the important, the urgent and the unnecessary. It may seem that everything is urgent, and must be acted on first. This is not necessarily so. With good planning and prioritising, urgent situations will become less and less frequent.

Your first step to prioritising is to select those tasks you need to take action on tomorrow. These will come from your master list, along with new tasks generated during the day, which most likely are a result of phone calls, new assignments and mail. This list will be your daily "to do" list.

"Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to prepare a "to do" list for the next

I suggest taking 15 minutes at the end of each day to prepare a "to do" list for the next day. There is no better time to be aware of what to accomplish tomorrow. Evaluate each item on your list as to its importance and urgency, and eliminate the unnecessary.

Next, prioritise your daily "to do" list. Select the top three most important tasks which must be completed, no matter what else happens that day. Number them 1, 2 and 3. It is essential to identify them in order of importance. During the day, an unexpected crises may erupt, or any number of things can happen that you did not plan on that will take time you hadn't counted on. But you will know that those top three tasks must be taken care of no matter what!

"Select your top 3 most important tasks which must be completed"

After identifying the top three, select, in order of importance, the second three most important tasks and number them 4, 5, and 6. However, these three may not be acted on until the top three are completed. This is because you have already determined they are not as high a priority. Following this process puts you in control of your "to do" list.

Keep your "to do list" small - no more than eight items. After all, it is a daily "to do" list. As you tick off completed tasks, you will have the feeling of accomplishment.
Accept the fact that you cannot do everything in one day. What may not be on the top of today's priority list, may very well be #1 on tomorrow's list. If you accomplish five or six items on your "to do" list each day, consider it a very productive day.

This, I have found to be a pretty comfortable standard, because so many other events take place each day that cannot be planned for, but take time. And remember, 5 or 6 a day adds up to 25 to 30 tasks completed each week.

By prioritising, you will know, every day, the top three most important tasks to be tackled before hitting your desk in the morning.

"You cannot do everything in one day"

Being organised requires commitment - your commitment - to try something new and to break old bad habits. The methods and techniques I offer are simple, easy to learn, and I guarantee they will work and your job will be a whole lot easier. You will also notice that you are less stressed.

©2001 Carol Halsey

Carol Halsey is Founder and President of Business Organizing Solutions. She is a professional organiser, consultant, speaker, and author of "93 Organizing Tips to Simplify Your Business Life." You can get this booklet and articles, ideas and a free Idea Kit, filled with simple tips for saving time, simply by visiting her web site: