8 Steps for Prioritizing Work and Getting Things Done

March 21, 2013

Are you being asked to do more with less? Here are 8 simple steps to help you prioritize and stay on top of all your goals.

 1. Ask your manager on what she expects for the coming quarters and overall year. Ask for performance targets that are SMART. This is critical for prioritizing and judging when a target has been met.

2. Create a process for sorting requests according to their importance. There are software programs that can help track projects. Prioritizing works best if you sort around the goals that your manager set. Review the process after a few months to make sure it is working appropriately.

3. Ask yourself what could go wrong for every stage. Plan and take steps to prevent potential problems. This puts less pressure on your prioritizing methods as things are not as time critical.

4. Break down larger activities into smaller, more feasible steps. Set milestones and deadlines. Map out an action plan.

5. Map out the existing resources (budget, people, tools, systems, processes, IP assets) that can help you achieve your goal. Use them in your prioritizing process and to track and measure your progress.

6. Map out a timetable and set realistic expectations. If the goals are in some way unrealistic, brainstorm ways to get it done. Can something be delegated? What if you had more resources or more time? Ask your boss to help you brainstorm solutions.

7. Start your week by choosing an issue that has been stalling the project. Plan and write out what steps you’ll take to overcome this obstacle.

8. Create a “Power Hour” first thing in the morning where you attack high-priority issues and move them along to resolution.

Tackling goals may seem difficult at first, but prioritizing helps make sure the most important goals get done.

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About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.

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