Thu 29 Jun 2017 09:06

Work vs. Life: 5 Tricks to Set Priorities

You work too much. Sometimes your family is surprised when you come home - these people almost do not remember how you look. Not to mention the fact that holidays spent together have become a matter of long gone days.

This does not mean that it's easy for you to work - task lists constantly press on you, not allowing you to breathe normally and feel alive. It often seems that you run in a circle like a squirrel in a wheel, and this wheel will never stop. 

Do you recognize yourself? Stop and look around. 

Life is beautiful. Your work is very important. And life is not just about doing the work. 

Let's talk about how to set priorities that will help you to live happily and to work effectively.

We've written about work and weekend balance there Work & Weekend: How to Find a Balance for Success, hope this article helps you as well.

Trick 1. Define urgent from important

Urgent tasks, in most cases, are the result of external influence - you can receive a call from a colleague or a partner – he asks you to reply the letter right now or to make a call to the supplier, or your wife may ask you right now to order a bicycle for your son's birthday. Sometimes urgent tasks look like going home now and taking your relative to a hospital. Which case is really important? The last one, definitely. Letters and calls are important+urgent only if you may have negative results of postponing them. 

In other situations you can do it later. Important cases can be either urgent or not. For example, you are going to achieve a certain financial condition in six months. Is this an important task? Of course. Is it urgent? No - it will be performed systematically. But because of its importance you should do something every day and you can't postpone it for the last month or two. Today's important task can look like a meeting with a strategic partner - and if you won't go, you miss a profitable contract. This is an example of an important+urgent combination, like a trip to the hospital with a relative (we hope that this example is a theory). So, rule number one: first do important + urgent tasks.

How to Plan The Summer If You are a Business Owner

Trick 2. Figure out what is more or less important

Create your own scale to assign a label of importance and its level to each task. What could it be like?

  1. First category: the tasks need to be done as soon as possible, and they are also important for your career or life (or for other reasons). You can mark it, for example, with a few plus signs, a letter or a number.
  2. Second category: the tasks that are very desirable to be done. If you ignore them, you can expect negative consequences. But they are not as critical as the first ones.
  3. Third category: the tasks you want to accomplish, but if you ignore, nothing negative will happen.
  4. Last category (as usual, the biggest one): the usual and optional tasks that you do automatically or because you just want to do it now. You may postpone, ignore or reject any of them on your choice.  

Fill out all these categories – as you have already understood, it is necessary to perform those tasks from the first to the last ones. These are your priorities.

Trick 3. Make lists, but not long ones

While you are making lists, you are spending your time on it. Of course, lists are useful - but the more clearly they are written down, the easier it will be for you to set priorities and structure tasks in your mind. Try to write down tasks in clear and simple words, formulate sentences as short as possible. Let your list have a simple and well-defined structure. You should have two lists - let one of them concern your work and everything connected with it, and the second one will be dedicated to your life, relationships, friendship, hobbies and so on. You can find a balance only if you see both of these lists. Remember that you should perform tasks from both lists, not only from the work one!

Summer at Work: Survival Guidance

Trick 4. Say "no" and defend your time

No matter how many wonderful lists you make, no matter how many tasks you set aside, if you let others to distract you from your plans, your idea with priorities will fail. Learn how to protect your own time – even from yourself. If you have set specific time intervals for work, promise yourself to work, and keep the promise. If you have planned to check social networks only from 5 to 6 p.m. - do not use any other time for this purpose. 

Tell your friends and family that in a certain interval of time you are busy and will not pick up the phone, except for emergency situations - then, for example, let them dial you three times and drop the calls. You will know that something happened and call back. In other cases, you react only when you are free from work tasks - this will allow you to spend your time effectively. Learn to say "no" to people if their requests are not in your plans.

What are Your Startup Must-have Tools?  

Trick 5. Delegate your tasks

Very often, both in work (this is more about men), and at home (more about women), we strive to do everything by ourselves. As a result, we are exhausted, and the effectiveness of our work does not increase at all. We run just to run, nothing more. Steve Jobs said: "Do not work 12 hours, and the head" - this means that all your efforts should be justified and clearly answer the questions: Why I should do it now? Why I should do it by myself? 

In many cases, tasks can be delegated to subordinates, family members, contractors, business partners, friends or specially hired personnel, depending on the direction of the task. Take this opportunity, leaving for yourself only what should really be made by you.

© Assiomatica SA

Work vs. Life: 5 Tricks to Set Priorities

Work vs. Life: 5 Tricks to Set Priorities

Posted on 2017-Jun-29

This does not mean that it's easy for you to work - task lists constantly press on you, not allowing you to breathe normally and feel alive. It often seems that you run in a circle like a squirrel in a wheel, and this wheel will never stop. 

Do you recognize yourself? Stop and look around. 

Life is beautiful. Your work is very important. And life is not just about doing the work. 

Let's talk about how to set priorities that will help you to live happily and to work effectively.

We've written about work and weekend balance there Work & Weekend: How to Find a Balance for Success, hope this article helps you as well.

Trick 1. Define urgent from important

Urgent tasks, in most cases, are the result of external influence - you can receive a call from a colleague or a partner – he asks you to reply the letter right now or to make a call to the supplier, or your wife may ask you right now to order a bicycle for your son's birthday. Sometimes urgent tasks look like going home now and taking your relative to a hospital. Which case is really important? The last one, definitely. Letters and calls are important+urgent only if you may have negative results of postponing them. 

In other situations you can do it later. Important cases can be either urgent or not. For example, you are going to achieve a certain financial condition in six months. Is this an important task? Of course. Is it urgent? No - it will be performed systematically. But because of its importance you should do something every day and you can't postpone it for the last month or two. Today's important task can look like a meeting with a strategic partner - and if you won't go, you miss a profitable contract. This is an example of an important+urgent combination, like a trip to the hospital with a relative (we hope that this example is a theory). So, rule number one: first do important + urgent tasks.

How to Plan The Summer If You are a Business Owner

Trick 2. Figure out what is more or less important

Create your own scale to assign a label of importance and its level to each task. What could it be like?

  1. First category: the tasks need to be done as soon as possible, and they are also important for your career or life (or for other reasons). You can mark it, for example, with a few plus signs, a letter or a number.
  2. Second category: the tasks that are very desirable to be done. If you ignore them, you can expect negative consequences. But they are not as critical as the first ones.
  3. Third category: the tasks you want to accomplish, but if you ignore, nothing negative will happen.
  4. Last category (as usual, the biggest one): the usual and optional tasks that you do automatically or because you just want to do it now. You may postpone, ignore or reject any of them on your choice.  

Fill out all these categories – as you have already understood, it is necessary to perform those tasks from the first to the last ones. These are your priorities.

Trick 3. Make lists, but not long ones

While you are making lists, you are spending your time on it. Of course, lists are useful - but the more clearly they are written down, the easier it will be for you to set priorities and structure tasks in your mind. Try to write down tasks in clear and simple words, formulate sentences as short as possible. Let your list have a simple and well-defined structure. You should have two lists - let one of them concern your work and everything connected with it, and the second one will be dedicated to your life, relationships, friendship, hobbies and so on. You can find a balance only if you see both of these lists. Remember that you should perform tasks from both lists, not only from the work one!

Summer at Work: Survival Guidance

Trick 4. Say "no" and defend your time

No matter how many wonderful lists you make, no matter how many tasks you set aside, if you let others to distract you from your plans, your idea with priorities will fail. Learn how to protect your own time – even from yourself. If you have set specific time intervals for work, promise yourself to work, and keep the promise. If you have planned to check social networks only from 5 to 6 p.m. - do not use any other time for this purpose. 

Tell your friends and family that in a certain interval of time you are busy and will not pick up the phone, except for emergency situations - then, for example, let them dial you three times and drop the calls. You will know that something happened and call back. In other cases, you react only when you are free from work tasks - this will allow you to spend your time effectively. Learn to say "no" to people if their requests are not in your plans.

What are Your Startup Must-have Tools?  

Trick 5. Delegate your tasks

Very often, both in work (this is more about men), and at home (more about women), we strive to do everything by ourselves. As a result, we are exhausted, and the effectiveness of our work does not increase at all. We run just to run, nothing more. Steve Jobs said: "Do not work 12 hours, and the head" - this means that all your efforts should be justified and clearly answer the questions: Why I should do it now? Why I should do it by myself? 

In many cases, tasks can be delegated to subordinates, family members, contractors, business partners, friends or specially hired personnel, depending on the direction of the task. Take this opportunity, leaving for yourself only what should really be made by you.

© Assiomatica SA