How to Prioritise Your Work (When Everything is Urgent)

how to prioritise

Are you struggling to figure out how to prioritise your work for the day?

You might have a ton of reports to do, meetings to prepare for, and don’t even get started on your inbox. There are emails from weeks ago that you’re still yet to respond to. Everything is urgent. So how are you going to get through this without having to spend your entire night finishing your work?

Everyone has days like this, and the key to succeeding is knowing how to prioritise. This doesn’t just mean making a to-do list or tackling the most urgent task first. You need to have a plan so that you can keep your mind on the job at hand and not worry about the growing list of work ahead of you.

If prioritising work isn’t your thing or you need a refresher on the best practices, follow this guide so you don’t end up pulling your hair out trying to get everything done in your eight hour day.

What do You Need to do Today?

Take a look through your workload and mark anything that is due today. Naturally, these tasks will form most of your work for the day. It needs to be items that people are expecting and not just a deadline that you’ve given yourself. If it is an item that can be moved, then postpone the due date.

What Tasks Are Most Important?

Of the tasks, what are the most important items? A good way to do this is by identifying who the work is for. Start with tasks that your boss needs. These items should be at the top of your list. The same goes for any pieces of work that anyone above your boss needs. Next, take a look at what your peers need. These should be secondary. Finally, anything for your direct reports should come last. They are still important, but you have a better chance of renegotiating some of the timelines if you need to.

Can You Delegate Any Tasks?

Next, ask yourself if every single item needs to get completed by yourself. Can you pass this on to one of your peers to finish or a direct report as a development opportunity? Why does the piece of work need to get completed by you? Did someone ask you to finish it or organise getting it done? There is a significant difference between doing it yourself versus organising someone else. Just make sure that you’re respectful of other peoples workloads before you start adding to it.

What Tasks Are Important but Not Urgent?

Every now and then, tasks will come up that your boss will say is important but they won’t give you a timeframe as to when they want it. This shows that this isn’t urgent, but it should be front of mind still. If your manager asks you a question or suggests looking into something, get an idea of the timeframe from them and prioritise it appropriately.

What Tasks Can Be Removed?

What daily tasks do you do that you can skip if your urgent workload is too much? Missing one of these items won’t shut down the business. It’s ok not to fill in a report or complete a daily ritual if you’ve got too much on your plate. Skip these admin tasks in favour of what needs to get done today.

Learn More Than Just How to Prioritise

Understanding how to prioritise your work can help you not only clear your to do list but also get you ahead so that you don’t end up with a day where everything seems to be due. Prioritising should be something that you practice every day so that you feel like you have a plan that you can execute to get ahead instead of falling behind even further.

One task to prioritise is adding the Better Boss Blog to your bookmarks. You’ll get tips, tricks, and advice on how to manage your workload. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so that you never fall behind on reading these helpful articles.

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