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  • Writer's pictureTara Lennox

Master Prioritizing!

Here are four easy tips to manage your time better.

1: Important/Urgent Matrix

Use the Important/Urgent matrix to prioritize your tasks for effective time management.

An urgent task demands immediate attention and there are direct consequences if delayed. You cannot push off an urgent task, and the longer you do push them off, the more stress they will cause (aka. white elephant!)

An important task may not require prompt attention, but they are meaningful to your long-term goals. Despite the lack of a clear deadline, these tasks do still matter.

The matrix divides tasks into 4 categories:

· Important & Urgent: Do these tasks right away, both for the benefit of your workload and your mental health. For example, a crucial contract that’s due soon.

· Important & Not Urgent: Schedule these tasks. They can be pushed off, but not indefinitely. For example, planning your weekly work schedule.

· Not Important & Urgent: Delegate these tasks. While these tasks have to get done, they may not require your specific skill set. For example, a quick reference call can be handled by a coworker who has more time.

· Not Important & Not Urgent: Delete these tasks. They only serve to distract you from the urgent and important tasks. Scrolling social media can wait!

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2: Two-Minute Rule for Small Tasks

Do you find yourself wasting time deciding whether or not to do that little task that keeps popping up throughout the day? Next time, try asking yourself if you could complete the task in 2 minutes or less.

If you can, get that task done right away.

If you can’t, add the task to your to-do list to be revisited later.

3: Keep an Updated To-Do List

I often play a dangerous game: I push off tasks, thinking I’ll take care of them later. However, I don’t always remember to add them to my to-do list. This is a great way for me to forget these tasks – don’t do what I do!

Add tasks you’ve pushed off to a visible to-do list – keep a physical copy taped up in an accessible place in your workspace. Update it regularly to stay organized.

This is easier said than done – administrative tasks like this often fall to the wayside – but it’s a lot harder to keep yourself accountable when the outstanding tasks become hidden amongst the ones you’ve already completed. Incorporate your to-do list into your daily habits to make it a natural adjustment.

4: Let Go of Perfectionism

Perfection is an unattainable goal – nothing is perfect. Be practical and aim for imperfect. If your top priority is perfection, you’ll never get anything done. Learn to be satisfied with “good enough!”

Master Prioritizing Your Personal Life, Too!

Don't forget, these tips can also help you manage your personal life. Make sure to prioritize things outside of work too!


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