Don’t Get Snowed Under With Work: Delegate and Prioritise
Working effectively and pro-actively is important for any business, but the overbearing feeling of getting snowed under with work is all too familiar, and this feeling is greatly apparent with the excitement of the festive season looming in the air.
Every business is aware that with the Christmas rush comes a snowstorm of work. Rather than hibernating this wintertime, you need to remain organised and keep calm, but this is often easier said than done. To stop your fingers from catching frostbite while working through the blizzard, you need a well-structured plan to manage your time and increase your productivity.
Here are eight ways to help you snowball through the Arctic cold and increase productivity this winter:
1. Are you one to keep your to-do list sprinkled on dreary post-it notes that are intended to help but often get misplaced? Perhaps you keep all your today-tasks melting away in your mind? What you need is a to-do list, a one-stop-cabin where you can reference the things you need completing. By ranking tasks by priority, you can focus your mind on the task at hand and leave the other tasks to thaw until you require them.
2. Every professional should be familiar with the 80/20 – the rule which suggests that 20% of your work will be the most valued and 80% will be significantly of less value – you must concentrate and prioritise the polar latter. Always intensify the 20% of the work that will bring the most value.
3. When looking at completing tasks always set realistic deadlines. Evaluate each task on your to-do list and set an estimated time it will take to complete this task. But don’t be too gusty or overoptimistic, be honest at what you can achieve in a day and know your limits.
4. When considering time-scales for tasks always allow time for interruptions. When you have allocated time to complete a task, and a co-worker enquiries about a task elsewhere, ask them to come back once you have concluded. Try not to come across as bitter cold as it’s essential that you only deal with important queries during this time frame.
5. Avoid picking up a job, doing an odd bit, and putting it back on the pile, instead see one job at a time through to completion. Don’t sniffle through your workload; build a structure which works for you.
6. You must review your workload regularly. You may find that there is always one task that you’re often leaving at the end of your pile, and if so, you must conclude why you’re avoiding that task. If the task isn’t as important as you originally thought, try throwing rock salt and scrap that task. Alternatively, if the task is simply dull and boring but needs to be completed, consider delegating a certain time for this task to be done before your workload freezes below-zero.
7. Don’t allow for your email inbox to drive your workload. It may seem trivial but twenty emails a day equates to twenty interruptions and that is twenty times you have lost your focus. Ski through your work by switching off your emails and read between tasks if necessary. Keep multitasking to a minimum and stop aiming for quick wins. Starting a whole number of jobs simultaneously means that the majority won’t get your undivided attention. Focus on one project at a time and keep in mind that it’s quality that counts not quantity.
8. Keep log off all your working activity. Ensure that you note how long things take, how often your focus has been shifted and how many times your workload was interrupted. Perhaps you had unreal expectations or tasks took longer than expected. Learn how you can improve next week and soon work will snowball more fluently.