We all must have been in this one very usual situation in our professional lives that unexpectedly multiple tasks arise of nowhere in a given span of time. Irrespective of the field you work in, one should be able to visualize the entire workflow before starting a task so that some hurdles are foreseen.
We have jotted down some points below which we hope comes in handy when similar situation arises next time.
- Prioritize your work: One needs to carefully prioritize the list of task given in hand. Say you have 5 things to be done. Discuss with your team members and then with the higher ups to give the priority levels. Discussion with team stands important as one can get different views and inputs over the same task.
- Give do-able time estimates: It’s important that we draw estimates with realistic approach so that we aren’t overwhelmed with the deadline at the very beginning of the task.
- Maintain a work log: When a new task (which is not similar to any of your previous tasks) comes in, start off with a log sheet to determine how much time each sub-task takes up. This will help you in future to determine time estimates for similar task.
- Pick task wisely: It would be wise decision to pick the bigger task 1st so that major workload is off your shoulder and you can get a time to be little relaxed and continue work on smaller-faster ones later.
- Stay away from multitasking: It won’t be good idea to start multiple tasks at the same time as this increases chances of some remaining undone. It will also add load on you to complete all of them while in middle of single task. Complete the one picked up 1st and then move to next.
- Remember the disturbance time: While you are in middle of certain task, there might be unrelated task that might come up. To accommodate such interruptions, we need to allocate time in the estimates only. Interruptions which can be handled later so as not be looked into it while you are working any task. Eg turning off chat or email notifications.
- Avoid being 100% perfect: We do not suggest that mediocrity is acceptable. However, continuing to work on something long after the incremental effort stopped delivering value is not beneficial. Further, it takes up your time, eating time of those tasks which could
actually give us a valued output. Keep in mind, great work is what we do for our customers. Perfectionism is what we do for ourselves.
- The most important point ‘Make time to plan’: Many times planning is seen as time wasting when finish time is close, people find it more appropriate to pick whichever task is known to them only to realize later that it was worth picking some other task first.
A planning of 15 mins can save your days of overloaded work.