A lot of time can be wasted by trying to figure out what tasks you need to get done and which are the most important. Keeping a daily and weekly task list will allow you to determine at a glance exactly what you should be working on.
The Basic Task List
Your task list can be as simple as a scrap piece of paper with a list of errands you need to complete in that day. Usually placing the most important jobs at the top and doing those first will ensure you’ve completed everything that you just can’t afford to put off. To make it a little more involved, you can add the amount of time you think each job will take you to give yourself a more realistic idea of what you think you can finish that day. Keeping a notepad or planner than covers a few days or a week at a time will allow you to move the less important jobs to the next day if you’ve run out of time.
Calendars and Planner
Keeping a detailed calendar or monthly planner is a great reminder of the upcoming tasks you’ll need to work on. If you’ve managed to knock everything off your daily task list early, taking a peek at your calendar can be a great way to get ahead. Keeping an eye on the future will prevent deadlines from ever sneaking up on you, so review your calendar every day or so to make sure you aren’t forgetting about anything.
Group Similar Errands Together
By keeping a schedule of everything you need to do, you’ll be able to easily pick out which jobs are similar enough to get done at the same time. If you have a few things that require a certain computer program, do them all at once while you have that system open. If you need to run out the store for something, see if there’s anything else on your list you’ll need to pick up while you’re out. Getting similar jobs done all at once can make it seem like less work while allowing you to cross a few things off your list at once.
You need breaks to be able to work productively, so add these into your schedule and take the time to clear your mind when you need it. Be sure you’re giving yourself accurate time estimates for every job because if you’re too ambitious in your schedule you could be setting yourself up to fail if don’t have enough time to get everything done. Alternatively, giving yourself too much time will create reasons to slack off throughout the day while you could be accomplishing much more.