Updated: Jul 19, 2020
“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”
– Lou Holtz
Let’s think of a scenario:
We work for whole working hours of the day, sometimes beyond those hours too.
But still by end of the day (EOD) when we analyze our completed task with pending one, we don’t find much progress in it. Rather, it may happen that more tasks get accumulated in your task list.
Again, next day, when we wake-up from sleep with heavy-head, we realize that more tasks have been piled-up that needs to be completed. We become more anxious and start working with many pessimistic thoughts in our mind, “This will take much time, I won’t be able to complete it”, “I can’t add more tasks in my bucket, I am overwhelmed”, “These tasks are taking time because everything came to me at once”, etc.
Ultimately, we feel pressurized under this situation and unable to concentrate on our work more efficiently. As a result, our pending task list goes to never ending loop.
SOUNDS FAMILIAR? Okay, never mind, it’s a very common scenario in workplace.
We all know that, either we are working from office or home (remotely), we need to stay focused and determined, to get our tasks completed.
Unmanageable way of working may lead to non-productivity, which may impact on our performance in long term.
So, there must be some strategy to manage our own activities and we should follow them on regular basis. The strategy may depend on person-to-person, and it can be different for each one based on their work type, environment, and situation.
The below image depicts the four P's of strategy, i.e. Plan, Prepare, Prioritize, Perform that can be followed to manage our work in more efficient manner:
PLAN with focus:
Start your day with a proper planning based on your short-term and long-term goals.
Outline a VISIONARY plan for long term and divide it into different short-term goals. The plan may include other parallel plan of your own personal development, apart from organizational objectives too.
Focus on the RISKS associated with delay of any task and the MITIGATION steps for them.
Find solutions or the way to resolve the IMPEDIMENTS (if any), while re-planning or reviewing the pending tasks lists.
PREPARE action plan:
Prepare an activity list tracker or TO-DO list for yourself. Put all the tasks that needs to be completed, with proper MILESTONES.
Make a SCHEDULE for each task, either related to personal development or project related work.
Set the ESTIMATED TIME needed to complete each task.
Consider your personal refreshment time/ BREAK TIME in schedule as well. Those time are important and unavoidable too.
PRIORITIZE the tasks:
BREAK DOWN the list by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Categorize the list based on the URGENT and IMPORTANT tasks.
RANK your tasks based on their priority and urgency.
RE-SHUFFLE the list, if any task gets stuck due to dependency on another task or encounter any technical glitch.
PERFORM without procrastinating:
PICK-UP one task at a time, avoid multi-tasking as much as possible. Multi-tasking seems to be efficient, but it’s NOT, as switching from one task to another may incur some latency.
Set a TARGET for yourself to complete each task and adhere to it.
Don’t PROCRASTINATE unless there is any hurdle to finish the planned work on time.
Try to resolve the IMPEDIMENTS within the estimated time of task, otherwise move on to another task after updating it in pending list.
Stay FOCUSED on your work and avoid distractions.
Don’t include any PERSONAL WORK or UNIMPORTANT thing in between your scheduled tasks. If needed, put those things in your pending task list, under PERSONAL category.
TAKE A BREAK, if you really need it, but don’t opt for it frequently as it may DEVIATE you from your ongoing task’s mindset.
"You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it."
- Charles Buxton
P.S. - The more we ORGANIZE our work, the more we are able to MANAGE it.