In today’s busy world, everybody has a lot of jobs to do every day. However, it can be pretty challenging to meet your work deadlines, especially when you’re not very good at planning. And while sometimes it’s possible to move the task and do it later, in other cases you will have to deal with unpleasant consequences.
This article aims to help you deal with daily work planning. You’ll learn helpful tips on how to deal with all your tasks on time, including evaluating your current schedule, planning your day, prioritising, and setting realistic goals. Read on and find out how to stick to your deadlines!
Evaluate your current schedule
The first thing you should do to get organised is evaluate your current schedule. This will help you find out whether you have enough time for all your daily tasks. It will also help you work out how many hours you can allocate for each project and how much time you spend on work every day, as well as where there are time leaks and what to do about them.
Sometimes your working hours can be limited due to other commitments, but that doesn’t have to stop you from doing what needs to be done. For example, if you have children, you could consider hiring a nanny, asking your relatives to help, or arranging childcare swaps with friends. If your relatives require day-to-day care, then hiring a caregiver, for example, from myhometouch.com would be a good way to put some support in place.
The best way to get a clear picture of your daily routine is to create a task list. Make sure that it has the following columns:
- name of the task
- due date
- amount of time you need to complete it
- hour or minute when you plan to deal with this task
- amount of time you have already spent on this task
You will get the most accurate results if you include in the task list only those activities that are related to work. For example, don’t add in household chores and other activities that aren’t relevant to your day job.
For each task, try to estimate the time it will take to complete. If you can’t accurately calculate how long a task will take, it’s worth adding a little extra time to your estimate to cover yourself.
To make your task list more complex and informative, you can add some additional columns, such as priority level or importance level (low, medium or high).
This is a really thorough way to analyse your daily schedule. If you’re not an experienced organiser, then you can stick to a simpler plan: just create a list of daily tasks and add columns when needed.
Plan your day in advance – and stick to it
The next step is combining your task list with any other meetings or appointments, so that you can plan your day and stick to it. If you plan your day in advance and decide when and how you will deal with each item on your to do list, you’ll be able to meet deadlines more easily.
Start by creating a monthly schedule, and then break it down into weekly and daily plans accordingly. Note down the main deadlines in red ink, include all your meetings and appointments, and fill in your daily and weekly tasks. This will help you see what day of the week each deadline is on, and where you’ve got spare time or too much to do, so you can move deadlines around if necessary.
At the end of the day (or week), check whether everything has been done before the deadline. If it hasn’t been done yet, work out where you went wrong, and update your future daily plans to incorporate the task again. It’s also a good idea to note down the things that you did achieve on time; this will help motivate you to stay organised.
Keep in mind that good planning requires good delegation skills. Never underestimate the power of delegation; it’s one of the key skills that efficient people have. Try delegating everything you can, and see how much free time it gives you!
Prioritise daily tasks
If you want to get organised and meet all your deadlines, prioritising your tasks is key. Prioritising means putting things in order according to their value – for example, according to importance level.
When prioritising daily tasks according to their importance level, put the most important tasks first, and the least important ones last. This way you will automatically focus on the most crucial tasks each day.
Similarly, if you’re setting priorities according to urgency level, you should prioritise urgent tasks first while putting less urgent ones last. Don’t put the easy jobs at the top of the list unless they’re also the most urgent!
Set realistic goals
Setting realistic goals is another key element of productive planning.
For example, imagine you’ve set yourself a deadline which is approaching fast, but you’ve still got a lot of work left to do and you won’t be able to finish the task in time. Do you try to complete it anyway, knowing that this means the results won’t be good? Or would you prefer to finish it later and do a thorough job?
If you choose to meet the deadline at any cost, then the chances are the task won’t be completed properly, and you’ll have to spend more time on it anyway. On the other hand, if you choose to work on the project later when you have more time, you’ll be able to do a better job and hit your more realistic goal.
Sticking to realistic goals is a good approach, as it allows you to plan for the time you need to complete a task and meet the deadline. If you can, it’s always worth adding in some extra time in case the unexpected happens – for example, if the task takes more time than you thought it would, or you have an unexpected interruption.
Hopefully these tips on managing your daily work tasks will help you plan your days in advance, manage your time more effectively, and take some of the stress out of a big to do list. Good planning takes effort, but it’s worth it!
What’s your top tip for managing your to do list?