Sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you needed to. However, there are instances where your prioritizing (or lack thereof) is preventing you from completing the daily tasks required of you. Here are some tips to help you with your prioritizing at work.
Sometimes, having a visual representation of everything you need to complete can help keep you on track. Whether it’s making a list for the following day or writing a list first thing in the morning, schedule a consistent time to create this list. As items pop up through the day, add them to your list. It may also be helpful to number this list by priority or value. For example, a project for your boss would be at the top while organizing your file cabinet would fall towards the bottom.
It can be difficult to get your daily list done when a co-worker constantly stops by to chat or you are continually being pulled aside to help on other’s projects. While maintaining a good relationship with your co-workers is important, you need to find a healthy balance. So when that coworker stops by to tell you all about their weekend, suggest meeting up over lunch instead so you can get some work done. If you’re asked for help on another project and just don’t have the time, be honest. Let them know you will be happy to assist them once you finish A, B, and C on your own to-do list. You can’t be faulted for wanting to finish your own work on time.
We’ve all been in those meetings where we leave with a to-do list and unreasonable time frame. Be upfront about how long certain projects will take you, especially when you already have a heavy workload. Ask if due dates can be adjusted or if more people can be brought onto the project to help carry the load. Depending on your role within your company, you may be able to require specific time frame to complete projects. For example, if you know that a specific request will take you a few hours and you know what your backlog is, you may necessitate that all requests be submitted with at least 48 business hour’s notice. This will allow you to keep up on your own priorities.
TALK TO YOUR BOSS
If you’re at the point where you just feel completely swamped and no matter how much you organize you can never seem to finish anything on time, it may be time to reach out to your supervisor. This is especially true if you feel the amount of your work is leading to a decline in quality. Your supervisor may be able to help decrease you workload or delegate some of your responsibilities to another employee who isn’t as busy.