A quick and easy fix for how to manage your daily workload in a hectic environment with free printables to download. Use the printable task planners to organize your tasks so you can direct your time and energy to the issues that count.
Busy workday ahead and so much to do that you feel kind of paralyzed when trying to decide where to start? Does your mind keep wandering on other unfinished tasks while you are actively trying to finish one? Or maybe the worst of all, you are happily working on something, thinking you’re being all effective only to suddenly realize that you had that other thing to do, which was more important than the one you just spent two hours doing, and one you should have completed by the end of the day but now won’t have time to anymore?
I had this same problem for the longest time, until I realized that if I didn’t find a way to fix this ineffective way of managing my days, I would not be able to handle my workload. I kept trying to multitask and do a little for one thing and then some for that other thing while trying to stay on top of what was urgent and what was not. And for me, one of the biggest problems was that no matter how well you scheduled your own work for the day, there would always be sudden rush jobs and requests from colleagues or clients and other unplanned things that should be taken care of, effectively throwing your carefully crafted schedule off balance immediately and rendering it useless.
And I tried the multitude of formulas, color coded post-its and many other techniques you see online but they all took a nosedive into oblivion before the first working hour was finished. So, I had to decide how to manage my workload, and keep it simple enough to actually make it work in the sometimes crazy office environment that produces constant interruptions, added tasks and new priorities by the hour.
This trick is beyond simple and has given me feelings of accomplishment and relief from the constant stress from having a million things to do in a limited amount of time. The way I do this is by taking a piece of paper each morning and dividing it in two columns lengthwise. The column on the left is for urgent tasks that really must be done that day, without exception. The column on the right is for listing all the other things that are not that urgent but will benefit from advancing when or if there is time. This way I have a clear list, usually in a descending order of importance, of tasks that I can glance at whenever I feel confused or have completed one of them, giving me a sense of direction in a simple format. And whenever there is an unplanned thing that comes up during the day, you just classify it to one of the columns.
Each case is assigned a clear value of “needs to be done today” or “can wait while I concentrate on more important issues”. Then I cross over each item on the columns when it is completed, giving my brain a well-deserved pat on the back. If all this seems simplified and almost too easy, that’s because it is.
Sometimes you need simple, straightforward and concise methods to bring order into a chaotic environment. It is also very helpful for dealing with cases of nice co-workers asking for favors that they might feel are urgent but in reality, are not. You can just swing them to the right-hand column and feel calm when you are focusing on tasks that are important to your schedule, not someone else’s, while still having it on the list so you won’t forget it.
Whenever you have completed one of the urgent ones, take a mini-break and then quickly take care of one of the not-urgent issues, so they won’t drag on forever on your list. This way you will be dedicating your time to the things that will preserve your sanity while also advancing the not-that-urgent issues steadily.
If you prefer, you can make the list every Monday for the whole week if that suits your work management better. Go ahead and download one of the three free printable blueprints for these task planners to manage your daily workload and see if they help you the same way they made my hectic days so much easier!