No matter what your job, there’s always too much to do and too little time to get it done. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to begin. Often multi-tasking results in tasks getting started, but at the end of the day, nothing gets completed. This is where prioritization can play a role. Learning how to manage your energy and some techniques to prioritize tasks will help you get those jobs off your to do list.
Where Do You Start?
There are a number of different methods you can use to prioritize your workday. Try some different approaches to determine which works best for you. Here are two tactics to consider:
The “Eat The Frog” Method
The essence of the method is to start your day with the biggest, and most important task, also called your “frog.” This is typically the task you procrastinate and postpone, only to have to rush to get done. Most likely, you’ll have several “frogs” that need to be eaten. Start with the most prohibitive one first, then eat the rest one by one. This method can help you to focus on a single task and persist until it’s finished, then move on to the next.
The “ABCDE” Method
The “frog” method is great for getting those big jobs out of the way, but often we have many smaller tasks that still need to get done. Here’s a simple method to try. To use this method, write down your “to do” list then categorize your tasks like this:
A: A task that you must do. There are consequences if you put this off. For example, other team members may be impacted if this isn’t completed.
B: Important, but not as important as “A”
C: Not as important as “A or B” but it would be beneficial to do, for example, attending a networking meeting.
D: A task you could delegate to a co-worker or outsource, for example proofreading a blog post.
E: A task that should be eliminated whenever possible.
The key to prioritization lies in writing down your to-dos, then breaking them down into manageable pieces.
Prioritizing takes practice, but the benefits are many! It can be overwhelming to have a lot of your plate. Challenge yourself to try one of these methods and see if it can help you cross those projects off your to-do list.