For you and me it’s known as getting things done but in the real world, they call it productivity. It’s like a measurement of sorts. You start with a bunch of things to do and if you plan it just right, you finish your day with fewer things to do. The path from start to finish is the line of productivity. But how exactly do you get up to speed on a day where your task list is as long as your arm but the day isn’t? Let me give you a bit of an idea on how to get those things done.
Scope Out All The Projects For The Day
This is the trick I use at the start of each day. I assess the workload. It may range from a half dozen small jobs to a medium and a few small jobs. There’s also days where I have a couple of big jobs and a few smaller ones in the queue for tomorrow. What I like to do is take a look at all the pending tasks. This usually includes today, tomorrow and the next day or two. With a good handle on what’s coming at me, I sort them out and make my priorities.
There Are Factors To Keep In Mind With This
There are experts who will try to tell you that taking on the biggest job first will clear up the rest of your day for other stuff, like checking email or killing time. I disagree. That’s usually because when I take on the biggest job in the queue, I normally have no time left in the day for anything else. That is provided that I did move away from my cubicle long enough to gobble down some kind of protein at lunchtime. Or at least walked away to stretch my legs a bit.
I look at my task list a little differently than that. I put a lot of weight into the deadline of each project. So, for example, if I have a couple of medium-sized jobs that are due in the next twenty-four hours and everything else has another day or two before they start to draw near their deadline, I’ll shuffle things around. That means I’ll basically get the first things done first in order of priority. Timelines give me the foundation of this method and it tends to work.
Then There’s Those Other Wild Card Factors
Generally speaking, once I set my mind to the order of priority for that particular day, I don’t waver from it. However, I do have exceptions to that rule. If a job is for a good client of mine, it will get bumped up the priority list. The same may happen if there is some other incentive attached to the job to get my attention. Extra pay is a good one. Essentially, any kind of perk that may be considered in some circles as bribery will push your job up the queue.
One More Reason Why I Will Push Big Jobs Aside
Again, provided that that ginormous project filling my office hasn’t got an early deadline or has a basket of muffins or an envelope of unmarked bills sitting with it, I may just push it to the corner for a part of the day, week or month. That gives me room to bang off a series of smaller jobs. Maybe the big one wasn’t inspiring me to produce great things for it so I opted for smaller stuff that made me feel as if I was actually accomplishing something.
That’s the great thing about being able to control the priority process. There are days I don’t feel like slogging through a massive job. But, I’ll be interested enough to work on and complete two, three or more smaller jobs in the time it would have taken to wrap my mind around why I accepted that elephant of a task in the first place. This doesn’t mean I’m lazy, it just means that I don’t want to burn myself out because it’s a Friday or I’m tired.
The Cool Time Tracking Trick To Changing Up The Order
Here’s why I’ll flip the work order around if the deadlines don’t actually impact priorities. If I am able to complete one massive job in six hours, but can also finish four small jobs and one medium-sized one in the same time frame, which looks better to my department manager? If you picked Door Number Two, then you’d be correct. There’s a lot more going on when you can say at the end of the day that you wiped out five jobs rather than one.
But Don’t Make This A Habit At Any Cost
The sad reality here is that there are going to be strings of days where you’ll be able to shove the big jobs aside. It’ll be fun for a period of time and if you don’t keep an eye on things, you’ll eventually do this automatically and become one of those people who avoid big tasks. This is why you have to pick your priorities carefully and plan your day in advance. Usually, at the end of the day I already have a bit of an idea of what tomorrow’s workload will be.
Here Is Your Magic Formula
Alright, this is what you do. First thing each morning pull together all the tasks for the day. Put them in order of importance using their due date as your guide. Tackle them one at a time so that each task is completed before moving on to the next one. By the time the day is over, you will have finished a chunk of work and can pat yourself on the back for staying focused. When you do this, you’ll see the progress you’ve made and can track your successes.
Oh, and don’t forget to bump up those jobs that offer extra pay or food. Pay particular attention to the offers of food. By following these steps you’ll be climbing the corporate ladder in no time.