All of us want to be more and more productive, but our usual work day spews a lot of barriers on our path to productivity and being us productive. You have many distractions at your workplace, like a phone buzzing every now and then, a chatty coworker talking about the last day’s cricket match, or anything which is disturbing and you cannot focus on your work and you have a deadline to meet and your work is still half done.
To get back to work and be more productive, you need to take a stand against all the distractions you have, and for that first of all you need to prioritize your priorities.
How to Prioritize?
Picking out the correct priorities isn’t always as simple as it might appear. Except you’re the one calling the shots, you’re much at the mercy of teams, coworkers, and managers. The most significant thing is to consider where you add value to the organization and which of your attempts contributes the most.
Go to your supervisor or manager and ask for a short meeting. In the meeting, ask how your boss is evaluating your success. Ask for simply a few metrics, as those will be the most vital aspects of your job. Listen cautiously, and then use these metrics to align your work at your workplace priority wise. Anything on your task list which doesn’t closely align with your value proposition can probably hit the bottom of your priority list.
Recognizing your true value can help you prioritize your tasks without passing over something imperative. It will also help you play to your strengths, meaning you’ll be delivering enormous value and impressing your bosses through your work.
Cut Up Your To-Do List
Are you a to-do list junkie? Don’t feel appalling, for the reason that you are not alone, a large number of professionals are also obsessed with checking items off their to-do lists. A study found that 63% of working professionals use to-do lists in their daily work life and on any given day, though, only 11% of people report in fact carrying out all the tasks they set out for themselves or been assigned by their bosses.
Now the question is, why is the success rate or the productivity at the workplaces is so low when so many working professionals with years of experience are to-do list believers? It’s perhaps because we’re all at fault of overstuffing our to-do lists with every little task, rather than focusing on the most significant. The more tasks you put on your list, the less apt you’ll be able to make it to the bottom prior to the clock strikes five.
If you want to systematize your priorities, begin with your to-do list. Take your list and cut it into three parts. The last part you can put directly in the trash, as the items in this part aren’t on top of your list for a reason.
Now, start with the top of the list, and put the middle one in a drawer for if you have time left. By focusing on only the tasks listed in the top of your list, you’ll be more likely to devote a lion’s share of your time and energy to your most essential tasks, as opposed to wasting time trying to sprint through a haphazard list of tasks.
When to Prioritize?
Working out how to prioritize your work doesn’t happen overnight, and every worker and company is entirely different. Rather than becoming demoralized when your prioritization scheme doesn’t work out, consider finding the right priorities like a science experiment.
At the starting of every week (Monday), take a few moments in the morning to cut your to-do list into three parts and spend the week working your way down the tasks listed in your priority list. Then, at the starting of the next week, review and see what went right, what went wrong, and how you can get better to do the tasks off your priority list. Do this every week. Soon you won’t have to measure the results, as you’ll become better at substantiating which tasks needs to be done instantly, what adds the most value to your work performance, and what can wait.
Examine the outcomes of your efforts just as you would analyze the ROI of any business venture, and tweak as you go along. As we stated at the beginning of this article that every human being is different, so for everyone prioritization is also different. Prioritization isn’t a set-in-stone process, and you should find out what works best for you as a professional.
How to Guard Your Time?
The most precious thing you have is your time, so why waste your time at work on actions that don’t get results? Take a time in your work day and dedicate it as a working “power hour.” During this hour, take a deep breath, mute your phone, close your email, and turn down any meeting invitations.
Prior to enforcing your power hour method in your work day schedule, talk to your manager and explain what you want to do and why. Let your manager or boss know how much work you’ll be able to complete effectively by taking just an hour out of your day away from chaos and distractions. By skipping meetings and putting off the time-sucking aspects of your work life for just one hour, you’ll be astonished at how much of your to-do list you’ll be able to accomplish.
We don’t deny that fact that learning how to organize your priorities and utilize your time optimally isn’t easy, but it can be the best way to improve your productivity at your work place. If you’ve ever felt your precious time going waste at work, organizing your priorities and sticking to your to-do list might be the key to taking back control of your time and workplace productivity.
What do you think? How do you set your work place priorities? Share in the comments!