We’ve all been there. You’re on deadline for one of the biggest projects of your career and you’re using your time to respond to emails. Whether you’re a “Type A” who wants to clear your tasks so you can “focus” or a procrastinator who is using email to run out time on the deadline clock, you still have a major task at hand that you’re not putting in enough time and effort into achieving.
There will always be an infinite number of tasks, but you choose which to complete and when to complete them. Next time you’re in a bind, use these strategies to center your attention and work on the work that matters.
- Take the time to get organized. Recognize that you’re a little overwhelmed and get out that pen and paper and write your tasks down. Don’t just pile on to the list everything you have to do, that creates more stress. Organize your tasks by importance and date due. Number one of the list should be that big project that is hanging over your head. Once you get down what you need to accomplish, it can help to then create a list for what steps need to happen to make your project successful. We get it. You will need to take your attention away from the project list to the general work list. However, if you make the two lists, you can go back and forth and keep on track with everything.
- Check your email habits. You do not exist to respond to emails. We’ve all heard that every successful professional limits their email time. Now let’s start doing it! Set a certain time or certain point in your to do list that you will login and see what’s been happening in your inbox. Why is this so important? Because every new email, whether it’s important or not, takes away your attention from the task in front of you, and also adds to your stress of “one more thing” to add to the list. When you check email at times you’re prepared, you will have a much more positive reaction to unopened messages.
- What’s impact? It’s not the new buzzword of the year, it’s a strong effect. Everything you do has impact, but we need to get back to focusing on what has the most impact. We’ve all felt those moments in our career when we were so proud of a project that really made a difference in the organization. Create more of those moments and less, “per my last email” statements and get back to business.
Are you in a bind a little too often? Take the pressure off yourself and call in reinforcement. You may be able to finish up payroll, post on social media, write job descriptions, and call back candidates well, but we can do it really, really well. Call 563.200.9000 and take a few minutes of your time so we can cross a few items off your to-do list.
Submitted by Maura Warner, Marketing Coordinator