Do you have problem hitting deadlines? Are you the last one to meet a deadline? Do you stress out over meeting your daily, weekly, monthly tasks? Believe me my answers to all of this questions are all of the above. Well breath easy you are not alone. The problem lies in your time management, most likely specifically in the area of task prioritization.
This article surely can help. (Jami Wright, Ehow.com)
- In order to prioritize your tasks you need to write them down. Use your day planner and write your tasks down in the “To List Area”. If you don’t have one, make an area for this list to be updated daily.
- Next, any task, big or small, needs to be written down. For example, you have tasks that need to be done today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, maybe even quarterly evaluations. Whenever the task is done write it down.
- Here is where the high lighters come in. Color code your tasks. For example I use blue for tasks due today or tomorrow, yellow for tasks due in a week, and pink for tasks due in a month or more. It is up to you how you color code them, but you need to understand the code. (see tips below)
- As my day goes I get my blue tasks completed and mark them off as quickly as possible. This usually leaves me extra time and I use this time to start on my yellow or pink tasks (knowing I will most likely not complete them that day, but I just got a step closer for completing it at the end of the week or month).
- At the end of the day it is critical to review your “To Do List” and transfer the uncompleted items over to tomorrow’s list. If the color coding needs to change because you are closer to the deadline than do this now. It is also important to take a moment and reflect on all the work you did complete that day. Remind yourself that you are doing a great job and mastering components of your time management will only make you a better employee and bring you one step closer to your career goals.
- The next day you have already started your “To Do List” from your nightly review, but it is important to make sure no new tasks/deadlines came in that need to take priority. Review your list one more time before you start your day and enjoy your success!
Tips & Warnings
- You can use the color coding to help you analyze your notes from meetings as well. For example; you were given a task to complete for next week’s staff meeting. Write the note down with a asterisk (I use code AI for Action Item) at this time I also high light the AI. When I go through my notes at the end of the day I can just transfer this over to my “To Do List” for the next day.
- PLEASE stick with this for at least 30 days. It has been proven that it takes the average adult 21 days to form a habit. Some of these steps are tedious, but let’s face it, if Time Management were easy you would have already mastered this area. There is a reason it is one of employees biggest areas of weakness.
- Don’t change your color codes.
- It can also be helpful to number the colors, blue is 1 needs to be done, two is yellow but don’t be to mellow… this is due in a week, and three is pink, don’t forget this or it could stink…(just a little memory rhyme I use).
- You will find as you master this area, you will be done with projects/tasks faster, even the ones you are dreading. You may also have your peers wondering what you are doing that is giving you so much success.
- Don’t stop, keep trying. Remember 21 days to form a habit. You can do it!