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Dealing with workload
January 19, 2014, 10:50 am
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Working efficiently is important for any business but getting snowed under is a too-familiar situation. A well-structured workload is important for good time management and will increase your productivity in the workplace. Here we detail how to prioritize tasks and be efficient with your workload.

To-do list: At the beginning of each day or week, write on a sheet of paper what you want to get done and by when. Rank tasks according to importance or urgency to plan your day and focus your mind. Then, review your workload regularly. Is there one task that always ends up at the bottom of the pile; if you find you’re avoiding it, can somebody else do it? Consider delegating whole projects that you do not need to be involved in or allocate a specific time when you only do certain tasks like your administrative work.

Workload 80:20 rule:  It is very simple — 80 percent of our work contributes to less than 20 percent of its value. Concentrate on the most crucial 20 percent of your workload, because performance would still be strong. Set realistic deadlines for your tasks. Look at your to-do list and estimate the time each task needs to be completed, but try not to be overoptimistic. Be honest of what you can achieve in a working day or week so that you do not feel overwhelmed from the start. If you need to finish a certain task at a certain time, only deal with urgent queries during this time. You can then quickly pick up again where you left off.

Structure your workload: Avoid picking up a job, doing a bit and then putting it back on the pile. Deal with them one at a time and finish each one before starting another. Your mind will be clear and ready for the next one. Ticking items off your to-do list is great, but are you concentrating on the quick-and-easy ones? Tackling more challenging projects first might require more time, but also that a major task gets completed and a weight is off your shoulders.

Multitask to a minimum: Starting a number of jobs simultaneously will result in most of them not getting your undivided attention. Instead focus on the project in hand. If you get 50 mails per day, this means 50 interruptions to your day. Do not check your inbox every time a message arrives. Switch off instant alerts if necessary and allocate a time when you will check your inbox.

Keep a log of your workload: If you are unsure how long things take, how often your focus shifts or how many times you get interrupted, keep a log of your working week. This will help you plan your week in future.
 

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