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Making the most of your time

Are you overwhelmed by your workload? Struggling to prioritise tasks? Spending too much time in meetings and emails and feel like nothing ever gets done?


You're not alone. It can be hard to get organised so easily when everything is demanding attention at once, but with a few simple tips, you can make sure that all of your work fits into one efficient workflow. In this blog post, we'll talk about the basics of streamlining your organisation skills so that you can start feeling more productive. With just a few easy steps, it's possible to sort out the chaos of too many deadlines and competing responsibilities with relative ease.



Make a to-do list – create a list of tasks that you need to get done and prioritise them based on the most important tasks.

If you're anything like me, you probably have a million things to do but have no idea where to start. Well, if you don't have a to-do list already then grab a pen and paper and create a to-do list that covers everything, not just in work but also includes the things you want to achieve outside of work too. Start by jotting down every task that's been nagging at you - big or small. Once you have everything down on paper, it frees up headspace so you can look at what needs to be done more objectively.

Now that you have that enormous list, it's time to start prioritising it. Which tasks are the most important? Which will have the biggest impact on your day, week or your wider objectives? You can use something like the Eisenhower Matrix which asks you to consider each task and rate it against each of these categories:



those in the Do box become your top priority. With a clear list of priorities in front of you, you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.


Set realistic expectations for yourself – break down larger tasks into smaller tasks and set yourself achievable deadlines.

When it comes to dealing with your list, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks is such a great strategy. By setting yourself achievable deadlines and focusing on what needs to be done at each stage, you'll be able to make steady progress towards closing down the tasks on your list, even if it initially grows a bit! Of course, it's important that we are realistic too – there's no point expecting the impossible from yourself. If all of your tasks sit in the Do box, you'll need to do a second sift of that box and start looking at what tasks can be delegated to others and then with what's left then decide which tasks will have the most impact on what you want to achieve. But by breaking things down like this, you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.


Schedule your day – set aside time for each task and give yourself regular breaks to help stay focused.

Are you struggling to stay on task during the day? Setting a schedule for yourself can be a life saver! By divvying up your time and assigning specific tasks to each slot, you'll be much more productive and don't forget, breaks are just as important as work time. Giving yourself regular, guilt-free breaks can help you recharge and refocus, ultimately leading to better work quality. So, whether it's a quick walk around the block or a snack break, make sure to schedule in some down time for yourself throughout the day too, otherwise you'll just burn out and/or lose interest.

Be really mindful about trying to multi-task too, it sounds great but can all too often mean that more things either just take longer or don’t get finished at all!


Take control of distractions – consider using online tools to reduce distractions such as email, social media, and phone notifications.

Staying focused and productive can be a real challenge in this digital age where the distractions of email, social media, and phone notifications can quickly eat away at your time. There are some great tools you can use already embedded into your device; for Apple products, you can use the focus option which turns off all notifications for a time period that you specify, and for Windows/Android you can use Focus Mode.

I think it's also important to consider what your optimum focus time is, I know that I can focus really well for a maximum of 40 minutes after that I can more easily be distracted so I tend to block out focus time in 40 sessions where possible. That might not sound like much but there is a lot of great research out there that shows us that 30 minutes of solid focus followed by 5 minutes of mental break is very productive and if we do this four or five times and then taker a longer 30 minute break we can achieve so much more in a day. Check out this great article that explains this in more detail https://hbr.org/2013/09/make-time-for-the-work-that-matters


Make use of technology – use project management tools to manage your workload and make sure you’re getting the most out of your day.

We all have those days where we feel like our workload is just too much to handle. But there are project management tools out there that can help make your life easier. One note, Trello and Asana are just some examples of these handy tools that can help you manage your workload and make sure you're on track to meeting your daily tasks. Plus, they're so easy to use, even if you aren't particularly tech-savvy will be able to handle them.


Seek help if needed – ask for help from colleagues if you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you have too much work on your plate.

You know that feeling when you have a mountain of work to do and you're not sure how you're going to tackle it all? Well, I know it sounds obvious but it's okay to ask for help. Don't let your pride get in the way of your sanity. Your colleagues are there to assist and support you. It's better to reach out and delegate tasks than to suffer in silence and produce below par results or fail completely and ask early so that deadlines aren't compromised or you're not asking someone else to drop everything immediately to help you achieve your tasks, people soon get fed up with that and all your doing is pushing the problem elsewhere. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. So don't wait until all options have run out, ask for help and ask early.

All in all, getting more done in less time is a skill worth developing. Following these steps can help you become better at managing your workload and making better use of your time. Making a to-do list and being realistic about what you can achieve are key for staying organised, while taking control of distractions, knowing your optimum focus time and scheduling your day accordingly and not forgetting to seek help when needed will help ensure that you focus on the most important tasks and will let you control your time rather than your time controlling you.


What's your top tip for managing your to-do list?

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