Managing Your Plates

imagesIt’s Monday Morning someplace, and you look at the day ahead and you panic.  Not only do you have a lot on your plate, but you’ve got multiple plates and you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to get it all done.

Jane Boucher Arntz shares 5 tips to help you handle multiple tasks in the Dayton Business Journal. This is a great place to start:

#1)  Prepare Your Workspace

Organize your desk.  Put everything you use daily within close reach.  Get rid of those  unused stacks of correspondence, brochures and lilsts that you keep around because you “might need them some day.”

#2)  Prioritize Your Tasks

This requires coordination with bosses, coworkers and subordinates. Decide what tasks are really important to you, your boss, your team members and your organization. Do them first.  Are there tasks that really don’t need to be done at all?  Get rid of them. Insist on a clear deadline for each task you take on.

#3)  Plan Your Work and Your Time

Poor or nonexistent planning is the greatest cause of missed deadlines and delays.  For all but the simplest tasks, develop a work plan before you start.  Divide large projects into manageable chunks.  Organize your tasks into a logical sequence.  Plan your time. If you do your best brain work between 10a.m. and noon, schedule your hardest task for that time slot.

#4)  Persevere To Complete Each Task.

Once you start a task, stick with it to completion. Don’t flit around from task to task. Even if you feel pressured because other important tasks are pending, don’t let that pressure distract you. You’ll accomplish more in the long run if you take one thing at a time.

#5)  Push Away Distractions

During the next work week, pay attention to your major distracters. Do you spend too much time on the phone? Do too many people stop by your desk during a day? Are you “putting out the welcome mat” for people to just stop by and chat? Do you go through your correspondence two or three times before deciding what to do with it? Do you check your e-mail 20 times a day? Analyze those things that are keeping you from accomplishing your tasks, then work to minimize them. Handle correspondence and e-mail just once or twice a day.

You don’t need to be overwhelmed by all that lies before you today.

Look at this list, and get started.

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