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When it comes to productivity and effectiveness, there has been no tool more enduring than the humble ‘to do’ list. However, these days, we find that our lists are growing faster and faster, so if you’re finding your ‘to do’ list continues to grow rather than shrinking, take note of these tips to help you get organised.
Be clear and stay focused on your vision, strategy, goals, plan and priorities; take control; delegate and outsource; understand where you are wasting your time; don’t get distracted or allow interruptions; decide the best time of day for your different activities, AND limit your ‘to do’ list!
A great first step is organising a hierarchy for your ‘to do’ list, from high priority tasks through to the less urgent. The first step is identifying your ‘must do’ tasks, e.g. meetings and appointments, as well as other urgent work. Taking these prioritised tasks and including a deadline on your list can help you action the work. Organising a hierarchy for your tasks and giving them deadlines gives you a great idea of how to best utilise your time.
So, what do you need to be asking yourself when it comes to ordering your tasks according to priority?
How important is it?
How long is it likely to take to complete?
What are the consequences of not completing it now?
Are there any special tools or information I need before I can complete this task?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can decide which jobs to tackle first and prioritise your tasks effectively.
Outsourcing is an efficient way of handing over admin tasks to someone else. If they don’t require your expertise and you have too much to do, consider outsourcing and delegating your tasks as much as possible to relieve some of the strain. This works the other way – be open to people delegating and outsourcing tasks to you. We work well when we work cooperatively.
You can’t plan for every eventuality so it is important to leave a window in your diary for unplanned things – answering emails, unexpected phone calls, last minute tasks. If you leave 10 minutes of every hour to these unexpected delays, you’ll be adequately prepped if anything comes up. And if nothing does, you’ve just found yourself 10 minutes when you can re-align yourself with the work at hand, and get kickstarted on the next job, so for more information on increasing profit, increased sales and selling old stock please go to www.bartercard.co.nz .