If you have a busy job, there are always a ton of tasks to be completed. You can just arrive at your desk first thing in the morning, go like crazy all day and still have tons of stuff to do when you leave at night. Most people operate in that manner. No real thought, no real system, respond to the emergency in front of them and “just doing the best I can!”
If you want to be successful though, that strategy is not good enough. In this crazy world you MUST focus on the RIGHT TASKS in order to be productive. If you let your day drive you then you will:
(a) miss critical task deadlines;
(b) waste your time (and your client’s money) on non-critical tasks;
(c) lose all sense of control of your job.
The solution to fixing this is easy: Take charge of your day! To-do lists are extremely helpful and should be your first step, but they can also grow to the point where you have no way of identifying the “high return”, “must do”, critical tasks. Here are a few different ways you keep on track of the most important tasks:
- Highlight the important tasks on your to-do list with a marker
- Plug your critical “To Do” items directly into your calendar
- Use your large to-do list to create a smaller daily to-do list. Once it’s created, focus only on the tasks you plan to do that day
- Put a reminder in your calendar twice daily to check your list. It’s easy to stray off course putting out fires or doing less important tasks that are more comfortable.
If you take control of your day and prioritize your tasks, you get a chance at winning the battle. Being more efficient on projects means you’re getting projects done on time (or faster), saving your client money, creating time for more contracts, and securing valuable references. There are no losing factors!
How do you take control of your day? Share your suggestions in the comments below.