Let’s face it, even the best jobs can be stressful. Regardless of what field you work in or how rewarding your job may be, you’ve probably experienced heavy workloads, demanding deadlines, and even job related stress at some point.
Sometimes when work begins to pile up, it can seem as though you may never catch up. At times like these, it can be very difficult knowing where to start, and it can be easy to waste hours of valuable time stressing out over tasks that could have been completed quickly, if not for making proverbial “mountains out of molehills.”
When your workload begins to bog you down, don’t panic or stress, just follow these 6 Time Saving Tips to Organize Your Workload and get more done.
1. Make A “To-Do” List
Before you try to tackle any part of your workload, you need to make a list of all tasks that need completed. This pre-planning stage can be crucial to anyone’s productivity. By making a list of all current projects that you’ve been assigned and also making a note of each task that needs to be completed, you can begin to structure your daily workflow. Since any structure requires a good foundation, consider this step as your cornerstone to building your productivity, no matter how many tasks you have, big or small.
Say you are building a video from the ground up. It’s important to always take the time to make sure your video checklist covers your entire story progression and you aren’t leaving out any important details. You don’t want to lay any “bricks” in the wrong places.
Nobody performs their best when they rush, so make sure you take the necessary time to thoroughly prepare your task list to avoid any preventable mistakes.
2. Structure Your Workload
Now that you have a list of all of your current projects and tasks written down, you can begin to examine each project individually. If you have tasks to complete that are partially or totally dependent on completing other tasks first, obviously you want to tackle the building blocks first. Also, consider that you’re going to have to allow yourself reasonable time for interruptions, like bathroom breaks and meals.
If you work with colleagues or as an employee, you may be called away from your work to attend to other matters. It’s important to help our employers and colleagues if they need assistance, but at the same time, you don’t want to devote too much of your time or efforts to other people’s assigned tasks unless absolutely necessary. You do have your own tasks to attend to after all.
3. Prioritize Time Consuming Tasks
Sure, it feels great to quickly check items off of your list, but if you’re not making big progress at the beginning of your work schedule, you are not making the most the out of your time. Rather than going after small tasks that don’t carry much weight against your actual workload, it is better to prioritize tasks that you know will take the longest amount of time.
If you work as a freelancer or with an agency, bigger tasks are usually more pressing in a financial sense. By making sure to complete the bigger and more time consuming tasks first, you can avoid time discrepancies, and avoid upsetting your bosses or clients. In cases like this, time is money. If you knock the bigger stuff out first, it’s much easier to complete smaller tasks. Save the easy stuff for last.
4. Set Realistic Deadlines for Projects
If you think you can rush a project and get it done in 2 hours when it would normally take 4 hours to complete, do yourself a favor, take your time. A ticking clock can feel like a supervisor staring down your neck, and can exacerbate work related stress and anxiety, which can cause you to lose productivity. Give yourself a realistic timeframe to complete any project and stay on task at all costs to make sure you complete your work on time, but don’t beat yourself up if you run slightly over your original time estimate.
It’s also important to note that if you finish a task ahead of schedule, you can take a moment to relax, but make the best of your time and move onto the next task ahead of schedule if at all possible. If you apply yourself and try not to lose focus, you will accomplish more tasks in less time.
5. Avoid Multitasking
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “you can’t talk and chew bubblegum at the same time, so don’t try.” This is the best advice in any situation. If you are able to devote your full attention to one specific task at a time you will be able to complete that task in a far more timely manner. If you make a point not to multitask, this can prevent you from confusing one task with another, as well as prevent you from making any mistakes that can be easily avoided by paying proper attention to one thing at a time.
Sometimes you might have to divert your attention to another task or project, or you may have priority assignments come across your desk that need immediate attention, but it is of the highest importance to complete one task at a time whenever time allows.
6. Use the 20–20–20 Rule
This final tip can be a game changer. If you work at a computer, and sit at a desk, the light from your computer screen, and the lack of motion can start to take its toll on your eyes, your back and your mentality too. The 20–20–20 rule, put simply is: every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away from you. This will prevent your eyes from being overworked as well as help you to center your mind and maintain focus on the task at hand.
Additionally, it’s good to apply this rule to your posture and motion. Every 20 minutes, walk at least 20 feet and stretch your back and legs for at least 20 seconds,but don’t stray too far away from your desk. You’ve still got work to do.
To sum it all up, our 6 Best Time Saving Tips to Organize Your Workload are as follows:
- Make a List
- Don’t Rush but Don’t Dilly-Dally
- Handle Big Tasks First
- Set Deadlines but Allow “Wiggle Room”
- One Thing at a Time
- 20–20–20 Rule
Follow these steps and stay on task, and you will make the best use of your time, every time. How do you prioritize your work tasks? Leave us a comment in the section below and share your best tips.