Whether you’re a business owner or a busy professional, there’s no better way to reduce stress and set yourself up for success than to take some time to organize and prioritize. Once you understand the basics of managing your responsibilities in a healthy way, you’ll be learning a work strategy that you’ll use every single day to boost productivity and avoid the pitfalls of a burnout.
There’s nothing more stressful than realizing you have a mound of work to accomplish and no real plan to tackle it all. Where do you even start? With this level of stress and confusion, it’s nearly impossible to have success in the business world.
You can’t tackle your workload until you know exactly what you need to do. This starts with organizing your tasks. First, clean up your desk. Clean up your desktop. Clean up the mess of files on your laptop. There is nothing like clutter – both real world and digital – to stress you out and make you unproductive. If you want to start achieving your goals, get rid of all the unnecessary junk holding you back. Only then can you begin to truly organize your tasks.
The best way to organize a busy schedule is by importance. Sure, there are many different criteria for what is “important” – but you know what it means to you. For example, if you’re a small business owner for whom online business is vital, then updating your website should take precedence over researching new products to offer to customers. If you’re a busy professional, then prioritize any client work over office-related work such as updating your expense report. Whatever you have on your to do list, it’s best to prioritize your workload so you can begin to tackle it in a smart manner.
Tackle your work
Everyone works in their own way, but a good rule of thumb is to tackle the most important, or the most difficult tasks first. Is there something that you really don’t want to do or something that’s going to be difficult and take a long time. Get it out of the way first. Saving the most difficult tasks for the end creates a sense of dread, and makes the completion of other tasks feel like lesser accomplishments. The mental boost you get from completing the hardest, most important task on your schedule is priceless.
When you decide what to start working on, it may help to break the task up and delegate.
“Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once,” says HelpGuide. “Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Let go of the desire to control every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process. Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little at work, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone.”
Take a well-deserved break
This is still part of prioritizing, if you were wondering. Yes, you need to prioritize your own mental well-being. Reward yourself for your hard work by taking a break – a real break where you truly relax, not some stressful working lunch. There is nothing more adversarial to workplace success than excessive stress. And one of the main ways to cause excessive workplace stress is by overworking yourself.
It’s important to first take the time to organize and prioritize your workload before you tackle it, as the first step to success is having a plan. Wading into the murky waters of a disorganized workload will not end well. Simply having a gameplan will do wonders for your stress level and your ability to begin difficult projects.
This article was written by Julie Morris.
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