As the kids go back to school, fitted out with shiny new shoes and bags of excitement and nerves for the term ahead, it’s time for most of us to get our heads in the right space as we return to work after our summer holiday. With so much to achieve in so little time, it’s easy to feel daunted by the volume of work ahead.
So how do you make sure your enthusiasm and energy levels don’t fade as fast as that holiday feeling? Prioritisation not procrastination is the answer. Below are Diadem’s top tips on how to prioritise your workload so you can beat the “back to school blues’ and hit the ground running in what is undoubtedly the busiest quarter of the year.
You’ve just got back to your desk after a fortnight away and you’re called into a meeting about an urgent problem with your key stakeholder – the choice is clear – prioritise this issue immediately so you can try to resolve it as soon as possible. You won’t even have chance to procrastinate as the sense of urgency will spur you into action. The same rule is true of all urgent, highly important tasks, they should be prioritised to the top of your to-do list.
In reality it’s impossible to do everything immediately, so, it’s essential to prioritise your workload in a logical and time efficient manner. For tasks that are important but not urgent, it’s wise to delay them until you have dealt with more pressing issues. However, bear in mind that these are still important tasks that can’t be forgotten. Make sure you carve out time to deal with them effectively at a later date.
Whether it’s an email you’ve been meaning to reply to since the start of the year or some research you keep hoping to do – we all have tasks on our to-do list that we should actually get rid of. We’re talking about those unimportant, low urgency jobs that eat up our time and don’t add any real value. Forget them – erase them from your list and you will immediately feel more liberated. By prioritising in this way, you will have more time to focus on the important tasks at hand and not get distracted by time wasters.
Mastering the art of delegation is crucial to becoming a successful manager. No one can do everything – so when you prioritise your workload consider which of the urgent but low important tasks can be delegated to others. The key to delegating successfully is choosing the right person and explaining clearly and precisely what you expect them to do. Remember to encourage a real sense of ownership whilst allowing them enough time to complete the project.
By following these top tips, you’ll be able to manage your time more effectively, boost your productivity and get the final quarter of 2021 off to a flying start!