how to stay productive

Quick tips to help prioritise your business tasks

Posted on 4 May, 2021 by Lyndsey Segal in Business Coaching

Does it sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?

You finish one task and then add another 3 tasks to your list? 

When faced with a long to-do list and limited time to do it all in, deciding what to do first can easily lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm. 

So, what’s the answer? Prioritisation.

Prioritisation helps you to take back control of your time and to-do list, by choosing the tasks that will move you closer towards your goals.

“Productivity is about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.” Margarita Tartakovsky

As a business owner, it is important to identify what your priorities are, so you can bring them to the top of your to-do lists and the forefront of your focus.

Read on to learn quick productivity tips and how to use a prioritisation system that will help you put importance over urgency and tackle your tasks more effectively.

Brain dump

Get all your tasks and ‘to-do’s out of your head and into one place. This can be pen and paper, notes on your phone/computer or a digital task manager like Todoist. This will create processing space in your brain to think and provide an overview of your tasks. 

Create lists

The brain dump will help to create lists, from which you can see which tasks to tackle and in which order. Select tasks that are connected to your business goals

You may find it helpful to make lists for:

  • different areas of your business
  • different clients
  • big jobs and little jobs 
  • tasks for the day, week and month

Scheduling tasks so they don’t clutter up your task manager or diary helps to reduce overwhelm by focusing on what needs to be done today. 

Deprioritise in order to prioritise

Prioritising some tasks means de-prioritising others. It’s about accepting that you can’t do everything and giving yourself permission to move certain tasks to the bottom of your to-do lists, in order to focus on the most important tasks. 

Understand importance over urgency with the Eisenhower Matrix

To make the best use of our time, we need to separate importance from urgency.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Stephen Covey

The Eisenhower Matrix helps to visualise your tasks as belonging to one of four categories:

  1. Urgent & Important: tasks to be completed immediately
  2. Not Urgent & Important: tasks to be scheduled 
  3. Urgent & Not important: tasks to be delegated 
  4. Not Urgent & Not important: tasks to be deleted

Tasks that are both not urgent and important are the ones that are most likely to create progress in your business.

Add priority levels to your tasks

There are some tasks that are more essential to your goals than others. Assigning priority levels to your task lists helps create a systematic and logical order of what you should work on first, what should be moved to the bottom of your list or postponed.

Scheduling high priority tasks for today or tomorrow and low priority tasks for the future helps to separate priority levels.

You may find colour coding or using numbers for tasks in your weekly/daily planners helpful.

Know your productive times of the day

Knowing when you are most productive helps to prioritise tasks accordingly.

If you’re an early bird, prioritise your most important tasks for the morning.

If you’re a parent, your productive time may be limited to when your kids are at school or sleeping. 

Whenever your most productive hours are, block them off in your calendar and protect them.

Prioritisation is vital because there are only so many hours in the day. 

Clearing the clutter in your inbox and your mind, planning your days and weeks and identifying the most important tasks will help you take back control of your time and boost your productivity. 

Prioritising what matters helps us move towards our goals with greater clarity, balance life and work more effectively and start each day with intention.

How I can help

I can work with you 1:1 to help you plan, prioritise and be more productive with:

Time management and productivity – learn tools, tips and techniques to help you manage your time and workload more effectively and boost your productivity.

Business planning and development – plan and prioritise the next steps of your business and create an action plan to meet your business goals.

Email management – banish email overwhelm, gain control of your inbox and boost your productivity.

Accountability coaching – coaching to keep you on track and accountable to achieve your business goals.

These are also available as group training for teams and organisations

If you’re unsure about which support you need, have any questions or want to arrange a free consultation, you can email me here.