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How to Prioritize Your Tasks For Productivity while at work

You just arrived at work and on opening your emails, yo found several tasks that need your attention. At a glance, they all look urgent and important but are they all urgent!

The Eisenhower urgent/ important matrix can be a great guide to organizing your day. The matrix helps you understand what tasks to attend to at what time and in what order, such that you stop feeling like every task on your in-tray is urgent and needs your immediate attention. This is also known as compartmentalizing and it helps you maximize your time.

Before utilizing the  Eisenhower matrix, it helps to know how to compartmentalize your tasks first as listed below.

Prioritizing work tasks

  1. Understand that not everything is urgent

Of course your  given tasks require your attention but not all of them have the same urgency needs. By realizing that, you are able to attend to tasks in order of priority, which results in an overall productivity boost. 

  1. Allocate time to each task

Well, one way of staying organized is to ensure that you give time to each task such that when focusing on one task, you are not distracted by another. By doing this, you are simply ensuring that you do not give too much time to one task than you are supposed to. 

  1. Do not multitask

Doing several things at the same time means that no task is getting your full attention and this reduces your productivity as you do not perform at your best. Simply find one task and allocate enough time to accomplish.

The Eisenhower Urgent / Important Principle

Eisenhower’s urgent principle  will help you determine how to approach the tasks at hand as shown below;

approach the work  tasks at hand

Important and urgent tasks

Planning urgent tasks ahead helps have enough time to attend to all of them with some room left to unexpectedness. The solution is to do them immediately to avoid negative impacts to your productivity.

Important but not urgent tasks

These are those tasks that have an impact on others and the organization but they can wait as their delay will not negatively impact others. These tasks give you enough time to attend to them. Failure to complete them on time however graduates them to the important and urgent category so make time for them. Schedule such tasks based on how your day looks like.

Urgent but not important tasks

This may sound odd but there are tasks that need to be attended to urgently but they are not important. These are tasks that are basically about housekeeping, or administrative tasks such as submitting reports. They have consequences if not handled in good time but failure to handle them immediately will not have immediate consequences. 

Not urgent and not important

These are those tasks that simply land on your desk for you to decide what to do with them. They could be things such as taking surveys, which do not have a direct impact on your work. They are tasks that you can ignore or attend to when you have cleared all your tasks. Do not stress about them and if possible, you can ignore them.

In conclusion, give Eisenhower’s urgent/important principle to help you organize your work such that you do not get burnt out by trying to get everything done at once.

How do you organize your tasks? Share with us

This article originally appeared here

WRITTEN BY
Arnold Akampulira
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