In 2010 I was in charge of the commercial department at a children’s NGO “The Smile of the Child”. I had many responsibilities and duties. My office was flooded with papers, the diary was full of appointments, meetings and reminders for tasks I needed to do.
One morning I was in a desperate state, my obligations were so many, that I was overwhelmed. Luckily for me that day I had a session with my coach. With this session, I turned a new page for me in terms of priorities and organization of my work.
I will share with you what I learned and which parts I apply up to this day. With this technique I am efficient and productive in my work.
I start my day with the tasks I need to do in my mind. The chances of completing them are slim if I have not written them down. Why? Because when they are written (in the mobile diary, on paper or anywhere that serves best) I can prioritize and plan them out by seeing which are urgent tasks, which are important and which I can assign to others.
Initially I write down in a list all the pending tasks of my day. Then I fill them in the corresponding category from “Important and Urgent” to “Not Urgent and Not Important“.
Urgent & Important – I have to do these as soon as possible
20% – 25% of my work
- Crises & emergencies.
- Pressing issues.
- Projects with deadlines.
- Tasks I cannot predict.
Not Urgent but Important – I decide when to do them
50% – 80% of my work
- Important goals, professional & personal.
- Planning and strategy for my work.
- Personal development.
- Activities that will help me achieve my goals.
- Leisure time.
Urgent but Not Important – I delegate them
15% of my work
- Interference, interruptions, some phone calls.
- Some meetings.
- Some e-mail and written reports.
- Activities that prevent me from achieving my goals.
Not Urgent and Not Important – For when I have little to do
1% of my work
- Insignificant issues that waste my time.
- A waste of time with long meetings.
- Irrelevant e-mail.
- Excessive TV.
- Some phone calls that waste my time without paying for it.
I always start with the Urgent and Important because they definitely need to be done immediately.
Then I focus on the Not Urgent but Important, and at the same time I assign what I can from the Urgent but Not Important and I deal very little with the Not Urgent and Not Important.