Quick Tips for Prioritizing Your Workload

comments (0) October 24th, 2019     

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carolsteffes carolsteffes, member
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Make a list
Is it urgent?
Make a list

Make a list

It's spring again! While the weather is nice and you'd like to go outside, you also need to do your end-of-year projects, take your final exams, and get things done at work (while finding time to do your laundry). How can you get everything done and still find time to enjoy life and avoid getting completely overwhelmed? Here are some tips to help you prioritize your workload:

Make a list

The first thing you need to do is make a list. Write down everything you need to get done so that you have it all in one place. Many people find that physically purchase essays writing their list down on paper or on a whiteboard is more helpful than just typing it into a computer or phone. If you do want to type it, however, a printout can be helpful.

Is it urgent?

Once you have a list of everything that needs to be done, decide whether each task is urgent (meaning it is time sensitive and needs to be taken care of right away) or not. Make a calendar or schedule of due dates. This can help you to see which tasks are more urgent than others. Urgency can also be dependent on the consequences of not doing the task.

Is it important?

Important tasks are those which are important to you personally or professionally and which help you further your long-term goals. Taking care of your health and spending time with loved ones, for example, are both important tasks and should be part of your regular schedule.

"Triage" time

Dwight Eisenhower once said, "What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important." He prioritized his workload by paying attention to what was important to him, and you can do the same. Classify your tasks as

1) urgent and important;

2) important but not urgent;

3) urgent but not important;

4) neither urgent nor important.

"Urgent and important" tasks, for example, could include a paper due at 8 a.m. in the morning and four final exams next week. "Important but not urgent" tasks could include taking time out of your busy schedule to work out or to spend time with your grandmother. Tasks that are "urgent but not important" would include things that you could delegate or hire someone else to do. These tasks need to be done, but it doesn't matter if you are the one doing them. This could include doing your laundry or cooking. The final category, "neither urgent nor important," includes time-wasters like relaxing in front of the television or spending hours surfing the web.

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