virtual assistant businessPrioritising your workload is important to all businesses, no matter the size or industry you are in.  It is very easy to become snowed under with the amount of work you need to complete.  Having a well-structured approach is key to good time management, will allow you to work more effectively, and ultimately will increase your efficiency and productivity.  So how do you prioritise and manage your workload effectively?

Use a to do list

Keeping everything in your head doesn’t work and doesn’t allow you to review and prioritise in what order each task should be completed.  Write down on a piece of paper or use an electronic to do list to record everything you need to do.

Ticking items off your to do list is great and feels like you are achieving something but make sure you aren’t just filtering through the quick and easy wins, leaving you with a number of larger tasks to complete.

Set yourself deadlines

Deadlines are important to decide on how important and how urgently something needs to be completed, even if it is a long term project and not as urgent, still set a deadline to manage your prioritise.

Make sure your deadlines are realistic. If you physically cannot achieve the deadline you have set then it’s unrealistic and setting yourself up to fail.  Be honest with yourself on how long the task will take to complete.

Allow time for interruptions

Interruptions will happen and aren’t always easy to avoid so allow yourself some ‘buffer’ time for interruptions or urgent tasks that may come through and need to take priority.

Don’t let your inbox drive your workload

Emails need to be answered, but if they are constantly interrupting what you are working on and taking priority then you need to address the frequency in which you are checking them.  Check out my blog on email management for some tips on how to avoid your inbox from managing you.

Don’t multi-task

This is something I say a lot but you shouldn’t try to multi-task as starting multiple projects simultaneously is not productive.  You don’t give the projects your full attention, you waste time trying to pick up from where you left off and lose focus.  Concentrate on one task at a time.

Review your workload regularly

If there is something you keep putting off, you need to address why.  Is it something you can’t do, don’t want to do, or actually isn’t that important.  Whatever the reason action, delegate or delete it!

Plan your tasks into your working day

If you have a number of projects you are looking to complete around your normal workload, make sure you allocate time in your schedule to complete them.  I build time into my capacity every week to work on marketing, once a month I spend focusing on business development and reviewing financials.  This time is scheduled into my diary to allow me time to complete.

virtual assistant business

If you are looking for help to reduce your to do list, get back some time and focus your attention on driving your business forward, then why not get in touch for a free discovery call to find out how I could help support you and your business.  Email or call 07538 715537.