Use this process to improve how you organise your tasks and manage your workload more effectively.
Lose the drift and list your tasks.
Do not allow yourself to drift aimlessly from week to week. Each Sunday evening list those tasks that need to be carried out over the coming week. Alternatively, each Friday evening meet as a team and list those tasks that need to be worked on for the following week.
Think Big Picture!
Its all too easy to get caught up in our day to day workload, running from task to task. Each week can easily roll into the next if we allow it to and we lose sight of the big picture. Remember that your daily, weekly and monthly tasks should be moving you decisively towards your overall objectives.
Take the time to reflect on your own values, interests and ambitions individually and collectively. Think strategically. What do you really want in life personally and professionally? Remember, that there is nobody coming with a rescue jacket! You need to take control over the direction that you are going and take the necessary actions today.
Prioritise, for real!
Next, prioritise your list of tasks into the most urgent, the most important and what can be left until later. It is essential to differentiate between each of these. All tasks are not created equal and you need clarity in order to perform to your very best.
Rank those tasks in terms of E/N/D
Now that you have organised your tasks in terms of which are most urgent, most important and those that can be left to later, its time to place an E/N or D beside each one. Which if these tasks do you find ‘energising’? Which do you think of as ‘neutral’ and which do you consider ‘draining’.
Remember, if doing this exercise as a team use the diversity available to you. What is energising for some may not be for others. What one individual may find draining may be energising to somebody else depending on their interests, qualifications and/or experience.
Tasks that are considered to be ‘neutral’ with creatively and imagination, can be developed further so that they become more interesting and energising.
Allocate, schedule and set your timelines.
Now that you have organised your tasks and applied a proper analysis its time to think about your day. Typically, when do you feel energised or tired physically, cognitively and emotionally? Be smart in terms of scheduling tasks at times of the day and week, when you will have the motivation and capability to get them done!
Allocate the right task to the most appropriate person (remember E/N/D)! Pairing is essential to enhance performance.
Finally, be realistic in terms of what is achievable but remember that this is not a ‘box ticking ‘exercise either. Be ambitious in terms of what you can get done individually and collectively. How long has it taken you to complete similar tasks in the past? What went well and what didn’t? How can you improve your performance this time around?
Joe McDonald is founder of create10 providing powerful, impactful workshops to teams across all sectors and industries. Also, one to one confidential coaching and flexible online courses on leadership development, coaching for strategy, team development and innovation. See www.create10.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org